Arriving to Croatia's island Vis in spring was a visual and aromatic delight. I took a journey around the island's meadows and back paths to pick bunches of aromatic sage, oregano and rosemary , wild herbs rich in essential oils wonderfully accompanying lamb. With the help of my newfound fragrant friends , I made two of my favourite go to, easy to make, healthy and nutritious dishes - a roast lamb with spring vegetables and a hearty herbed lamb soup.

SPRING LAMB WITH WILD HERBS

A perennial favourite, with a new, easy twist

serves 2:

INGREDIENTS :

  • for this recipe, get the butcher to cut off the rib part of the lamb, sometimes called the "hotel rack". Instead of frenching individual cutlets though, get the butcher to cut off four cutlets together in one piece. You will need two pieces of these, one for each person (or double up if you are feeling especially hungry!) Ask the butcher to also give you the leftover ribs, bones and meat which come conjoined to this cut , you will need this for the soup
  • new season potatoes (as many as you want!) quartered if small
  • spring carrots, halved or quartered depending on size ( you want them thin enough to cook through in the oven)
  • one large onion, quartered
  • one or two large fennel bulbs, cut thinly enough to cook through
  • cherry tomatoes
  • garlic (you will need a few cloves cut very finely for the sauce and some whole cloves to chuck in with the potato on the roasting tray)
  • sage, rosemary, oregano
  • white wine
  • olive oil'
  • salt and pepper
  • one organic lemon

METHOD:

  • Place the lamb on an oven tray that's been covered with baking paper
  • parboil the potatoes in some water until soft
  • place all the veggies, including the parboiled potato on the tray with the lamb, then douse with olive oil, salt and pepper, rosemary and a little bit of wine over the veggies.
  • cut up one organic lemon, skin and all very thinly into small chunks and toss over the veggies. Massage it all through
  • place in the oven at around 200-220C fan grill setting ( depending on how hot your oven grill gets )
  • cook for around 20-30 minutes depending on how you like your lamb
  • before serving, make a cut up garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil, oregano and sage sauce
  • liberally throw this vampire repellant all over everything before serving

 

HEARTY LAMB SOUP

This dish can be started the day before eating, just make sure you boil the meat and bones for at least 3-4 hours, if not overnight. Once the broth is done , it can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Adding the rest of the veggies in half an hour before serving, makes this into an easy and quick assembling hot meal

INGREDIENTS:

  • lamb ribs or alternatively a lamb's neck
  • filtered water
  • salt and whole peppercorns
  • rosemary
  • half an onion, quartered
  • carrots, cut in small pieces
  • potato, cut in small chunks ( you can omit this if you would like a lighter soup )
  • Savoy cabbage
  • 2 leeks
  • cherry tomato or regular tomato
  • garlic

METHOD:

  • Put filtered water into a large pot
  • Add salt, peppercorns, quartered onion, and whole crushed garlic
  • Add a sprig of rosemary whole ( you will take this out after the broth is done, more robust branches are better as they do not fall apart in the soup)
  • Add cherry tomatoes ( the acidity helps to leech gut healing gelatin )
  • Cook on low for as long as possible - I like to do at least 3 hours but when I have a reliable stovetop, I make sure to add a lot of water, cover the pot, put the heat on very low ( barely bubbling ) and leave to cook overnight for best taste and gelatine concentration
  • About half an hour or so before serving , add Savoy cabbage, leeks, potato and carrots
  • You can serve this with the same vampire source if you like a stronger soup taste

Bon appetit! x

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