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Lamb Chops with Roasted Root Vegetables, Sumac Dressing & Feta
When I made the shift to a simple whole food diet a few years ago, my pantry took a beating. Any bottle with a long list of ingredients or numbers nose dived the bin. Gone were the flavoursome sauces and dressings that doused my creations, it was time to learn to use food as nature intended - to bring about mouth watering flavours that not only tasted good but were good for me.
Enter fresh and dried herbs and spices, gifts from nature that not only offer a multitude of health benefits but also had pack a whole heap of glorious flavour.
Today's beautifully simple recipe utilises the Middle Eastern spice sumac. Do you use it? It's tangy lemon flavour is used in marinades, dry rubs and dressings and is also gorgeous sprinkled over food before serving. From a health perspective this gorgeous berry is said to be laden with Vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and potassium.
As a point of interest I just read that it is related to the cashew family so you are best to avoid it if you are allergic to tree nuts.
Before we jump into the recipe, a huge thanks to our clever friends at Melbourne food delivery service Tucker Street who happen to be sending out the recipe and ingredients for my Porcini Mushroom and Kale Buckwheat Risotto to lots of Melbourne foodies this week.
4 x lamb chops
1 bunch dutch baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
2-3 fresh baby beetroots, with leaves
1 small parsnip
1 red onion, peeled, cut into 3cm chunks
1/8 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
2 handfuls baby spinach
70g Meredith goats feta
1 teaspoon sumac
extra virgin olive oil
freshly cracked pepper
Bring a medium pot of water to the boil while you prepare the veggies. Preheat oven to 250 degrees celsius.
Rinse and trim the beetroot. Discard the stalks and tear the leaves into a salad bowl. Peel the parsnip and cut in half, then cut into 2cm thick wedges. Place the beetroot and parsnip into the pot of boiling water along with a generous pinch of salt. Par boil for 4-5 minutes.
While the veggies are parboiling, line a tray with baking paper.
Drain the parsnip and beetroot. Cut the beetroot into quarters and return to the pot along with the parsnip. Add the onion, carrots, oregano, unpeeled garlic clove and 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and toss. Transfer to the baking tray and roast until golden (about 25mins), turning halfway.
Whilst the veggies are roasting, prepare the sumac dressing. Whisk the sumac, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl to combine. Cut the lemon into wedges and squeeze in the juice of half the lemon. Taste and add more lemon or seasoning to taste and set aside.
Rinse the spinach and place in the salad bowl along with the beetroot leaves.
With 10-15 minutes of roasting of the veggies to go, cook the lamb. Heat a medium frypan on medium heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and fry for 3 mins each side (medium rare) or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest.
Once the vegetables are roasted, squeeze the roasted garlic from the skin into the sumac dressing. Mash with a fork and stir well. Tip the roast veggies into the salad bowl with the salad leaves. Drizzle over with half the sumac dressing and toss to combine.
To serve, split the veggies between two plates, crumble over with goats feta and serve with the chops, remaining dressing and lemon wedges to the side.