Who can resist a lovely fresh, lean and tender New Zealand rack of lamb, simply seasoned and grilled with a handful of roast potatoes and a bright green salad? Inspired by a recipe from Nigella's most recent cookbook Nigellissima that I picked up at her book launch a few years ago, it's quick, easy, healthy and delicious. As she says, "If you put your halved baby potatoes on to steam before you get started on the lamb chops, you can fairly effortlessly rely on a proper meat-and-potato supper in around 20 minutes. Steaming the potatoes is, for me, an important stipulation: a steamed spud is a sweet spud; more than that, cooked this way, rather than by boiling, the potatoes are dry when done, which makes them easy to fry to crisp bronzedness". Bronzedness? I don't know if that's a word, but it's certainly a fabulous recipe, and one that I make over and over again, and sometimes just the spuds alone!
Rack of New Zealand Lamb cut into chops and seasoned
Fresh grown mint from my Mother-in-Law's garden
Wild organic arugula grown in our garden
Lovely fingerling potatoes
Sliced in half and steamed for 15 minutes
While the lamb is being grilled on the BBQ, the potatoes are sautéed in olive oil, celery seeds, salt and crushed red pepper flakes until golden
Lamb Chops with Fingerling Potatoes & Mint on Arugula
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson - Nigellissima
1 lb fingerling potatoes, washed and halved but not peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 rack of New Zealand lamb, cut into single chops
3 1/2 oz wild arugula
1 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes & black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Shaved parmigiano, for garnish
Put the halved fingerling potatoes on to steam. Place the lamb chops in a dish that will fit them all in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn until well coated, and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium high and grill the lamb chops about 3 minutes per side for medium rare, or longer for more well done. While the chops cook, check that the potatoes are tender, which they should be by now, in which case, turn the heat off under the steamer.
Arrange the arugula on a large platter and when lamb is done, but still juicily pink, arrange on top of the greens. Meanwhile, tip the steamed potatoes into a large non stick pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red pepper flakes, dried mint, celery seeds and salt, and fry for 3-4 minutes, then turn them over and fry for another 3 minutes, shaking the pan every now and again to make them tumble and turn in the hot oil. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the potatoes to the platter and season with a flurry of Maldon salt, pepper, and a garnish of mint and some shaved parmigiano — e tutti a tavola a mangier!