After walking in the crisp, cool valley beside the Alhambra, with snow-capped mountains in the distance I needed to shift the biting cold air from my hands and welcome the warmth of burning firewood. Walking besides mysterious caves, the sounds of birds and the crunching of grass left by my footprints allowed me to take a moment and gaze at the piercing sun surrounded by clear blue sky. The realisation of having moments like this, where my thoughts were carefree and full of days like today, made me think of seizing the moment and enjoy something seasonal.

Winter bares coldness but makes us look forward to the sweetness of Spring…welcome tender Spring Lamb. When dark skies draw sooner it’s hard to imagine a time to have dinner outside, cooked over an open fire (unless in the country of course). There’s something so relaxing about cooking in the most natural form. Seasonal food, open fire and crisp wine…heaven.

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It’s no secret that when you have real ingredients there is really not a whole lot of work that needs to be done in order to turn it into something special. So what better than to serve fatty lamb with the bitter-sweet flavour of rosemary. Rosemary really comes into its own when paired with lamb, it works its eucalyptus magic whilst tenderising and freshening the gamier qualities. This seasonal dish is wonderful served with a bitter-sweet pesto made with a fragrant zesty orange with its aromatic oils oozing over ground, nutty almonds. The exhaustion of the fruity essence gives this pesto texture and compliments the lamb perfectly. Still hungry…what are you waiting for.

Ingredients:

500 grams Spring lamb, fat trimmed and cut into bite-size chunks
100 ml cava vinegar
200 ml red wine (fruitier the better)
1 sprig of rosemary
100 ml olive oil
3 tablespoons crushed almonds
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pesto Ingredients:

The juice and zest of 1 large orange
1 large garlic clove, halved
1 teaspoon sugar
4 sprigs of mint leaves
100 ml olive oil
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Cut the lamb into bite-size chunks and trim any excess fat. Leave the lamb to set in a bowl with cava vinegar, sea salt and pepper and set aside to tenderise for 1 and a half to 2 hours.

After an hour, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Next place an ovenproof dish in the oven and heat for 5 minutes, meanwhile drain the lamb. Once the dish is hot, carefully remove from the oven and place in the lamb, rosemary, ground almonds and pour in the wine. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, as the lamb is cooking in the oven make a start on the pesto.

Place the juice and zest of the orange into a small food processor. Add in the mint leaves, ground almonds, garlic, sugar, sea salt and pepper. Blitz into a fine purée.

Once smooth, place into a small pouring jar and slowly pour in the olive oil whilst slowly stirring with a spoon and set aside.

Once the lamb is nicely roasted, drizzle over the fruity pesto and enjoy.

Both recipes have great no-fuss techniques and the pesto can be made ahead of time and can also be paired with sticky ribs, wings and meatballs.

If you fancy something beautiful, vibrant and tasty then why not serve this yummy treat with a SWEET AUBERGINE PISTO.

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