Project Description

The Easter weekend is a FEAST weekend, so I thought I’d share with you a few celebratory ideas that my family will be enjoying over the lazy long weekend!  There are a number of elements that can be prepared a day or two before, ready for the dish to be put together with ease! Magills Artisan Butchery in Te Awamutu have provided me with a boned lamb shoulder and I love to spread it with an oily mix of Middle Eastern Zaatar which is sumac, sesame seeds and dried thyme + lots of fresh rosemary which when roasted offers a crisp, sizzling crust to the melting lamb (aka) LAMBGASM!!  If there is ever going to be a family argument at the dinner table, let it be over the last succulent lamby morsels. Served with sensational sides and stunning jammy in season figs, this Middle Eastern inspired dinner will having you dipping and diving back and forth – Its a real SHOWSTOPPER!!

INGREDIENTS
  • For the ZHOUG “Green harissa”

  • 1 fresh jalapeno or 6-8 slices of pickled jalapenos!

  • 80g fresh coriander, parsley & mint, is a great combo

  • 3 Tbsp. Avocado oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Cider Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 2 garlic cloves, bashed, skins removed

  • 6 green cardamom pods, bashed & seeds removed & ground

  • 1 tsp. cumin + coriander seeds, lightly toasted in a dry skillet, then ground

  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste

  • Splash of water to thin sauce

  • For the PICKLED KOHLRABI

  • 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled, cut in half and then cut into sticks or wedges (200g)

  • 150ml coconut cider vinegar or ACV

  • 1 Tbsp. erythritol or sweetener of choice

  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1/4 tsp whole cloves

  • 1 whole cinnamon stick, broken in half

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • For the LAMB

  • 1 x Boned Lamb shoulder roast with knuckle

  • 50g za’atar spice mix

  • 2 long sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Sea salt and black pepper, to season

  • For the LABNEH

  • 1kg Unsweetened  Greek-style Yoghurt

  • For the Cauli Couscous

  • 400g cauliflower, riced

  • Bunch of fresh herbs, such as mint, basil parsley etc

  • Juice of a fresh lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper to dress the couscous

  • 8-10 fresh figs sliced thinly or you could use blackberries, pomegranate or slices of stone fruit, like apricots or plums!

METHOD
  • To make the zhoug simply combine all the ingredients into a stick blender and wiz to create a spicy fragrant green sauce, season to taste! Set aside in the fridge

  • You can either buy labneh or make your own by simply placing yoghurt into a clean chux cloth and leaving it to hang overnight to collect the acid whey. It will then be thick and all it needs is whipping back together, placing in  a serving dish with a lug of olive oil and black pepper.

  • To make the lamb rub, simply combine chopped rosemary with olive oil and zaatar and rub all over your lamb. This can be done 24-48 hours in advance. Season well with salt and pepper just before roasting.

  • To make the kohlrabi pickle, simply add all your pickle ingredients into a saucepan and warm up to dissolve the erythritol, taste and adjust so you have  a lovely sweet and sharp liquid. Simple place your matchsticks of kohlrabi into a clean sterile jar and pour over the hot liquid – cover with extra water as needed. Place on the lid and store in the fridge for up to three days. Drain before using.

  • To make the Cauliflower couscous is really simple, all you need to do is blitz in a food processor the cauli florets with herbs to make it turn green. Simply dress with lemon and olive oil, season…its done! Store in the fridge till ready to plate up!

  • Preheat oven to 200C.  Place your lamb into the oven for 15 minutes for the crust to crisp, turn the lamb at this stage and lower the oven to 180C and continue to roast for another 30-45 minutes. If you have meat thermometer handy, you can check for medium cooked meat at around the 60C mark inserted into the thickest part of the lamb. Rest your lamb for 20-30 minutes covered with foil, while you pull the rest of the platter together!

  • Slice all your figs or desired fruit and keep aside in the fridge.

  • Its time to assemble, simply grab a platter and sprinkle down your cauli couscous. Place your bowl of labneh down on your plate, alongside your zhoug, so every one can have a big green splash of this vibrant sauce!  Carve you rested lamb and lay this down on top of your couscous. Add a big pile of pickled kohlrabi for extra crunch and scatter over your fresh figs for a pop of colour and sweetness!! Sprinkle with salt, pepper and any extra herbs you have around…Enjoy the lambgasms and a much needed glass of red wine! Happy Easter xx