Eating well this Easter
I love Easter - its warmer, the flowers are out, tender new produce is just coming through and there's none of the Christmas expectations or stress.
For me, Easter lunch does have to be lamb. Which, as the spring lamb is not quite ready, you either look to New Zealand or you (save your carbon footprint and a local farmer and) choose British yearling lamb (hogget)
For anyone scarred by overly gamey, strong tasting lamb, this can be a bit of a struggle, which is why we love working with Village Farm in Devon. Their pasture fed lamb is so delicate and fine tasting that even the more mature lamb is still utterly, utterly delicious.
To keep things light and fresh, I love to serve roasted lamb with a broadbean, pea and feta salad, scattered with torn up mint leaves, fresh rosemary and chilli and drizzled simply with good olive oil, lemon juice and a little of our blackcurrant vinegar. Along with some roast potatoes, (or sweet potato/squash and some garlic purple sprouting brocolli, you have a simple, delicious lunch which is so very very easy.
I love to pair these delicate flavours with an ice cold, dry Rose wine.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow it to get to room temperature.
Make a herb butter. (I like garlic and rosemary) Peel the garlic cloves and grate them finely with a grater. Place into a bowl with about 30g butter and finely chopped herbs.
Strip the leaves off the rosemary stalks and chop finely. Add to the bowl with the garlic and butter. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mash up with a fork.
To allow the flavours to really sink in, with a sharp thin knife or a metal skewer, make around 30 and 50 small incisions into the flesh of the lamb. (large enough for you to stick just your fingertip into)
Work the butter and garlic mixture into the lamb by massaging it into the meat, trying to work it into the holes that you've created.
Place the lamb in a roasting tin, cover loosely with foil and place in the preheated oven.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil and leave to roast for a further 50-60 minutes (for medium) or until cooked to your liking.
At the end of cooking time, remove the lamb from the oven and leave it to rest in the roasting tin for 10-15 minutes, with some foil on top to keep it warm.
Broadbean, pea and feta salad
1. Steam the broad beans and peas until al dente. Then place in ice cold water.
2. When ready to eat, tear up salad leaves of your choice (watercress, garden lettuce, rocket, mizuna and baby spinach are perfect)
3. Scatter the peas and beans over the leaves and crumble a block of feta on top. Then tear up your mint, crack some black pepper and sea salt and sprinkle over, and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and Cusgarne blackcurrant vinegar... and enjoy.