This is a vibrant and easy dish focussing on a simple piece of lamb with a crisp and crunchy spring salsa verde. Oily and salty and bursting with herbs, this sauce is the perfect foil for the charred meat flavour.
- 2 large lamb backstraps, approximately 360 g in total, at room temperature
- 100 g celery, diced into 1 cm pieces (any pretty inner leaves chopped and added in with the herbs)
- 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, very finely mashed
- 20 g small capers, roughly chopped
- 2 cups flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 cup mint, finely chopped
- 100 g olive oil
- river salt and black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
For the salsa verde, blanch the celery in a small pot of boiling water for 5 seconds and then refresh in iced water. Drain and dry it out on some paper towel.
Finely zest the lemon. In a small mixing bowl combine the celery, garlic, capers and herbs. Add in the olive oil and zest, season and combine. Set aside.
Season the lamb and char it over a grill plate or barbecue on high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook it as it is a very unforgiving cut. Set it aside to rest in a warm place briefly.
When you are ready, slice the backstrap into thick slices and place on a serving dish along with any tasty cooking juices that may have released from the meat. Top with the salsa verde and serve immediately.
• This salsa verde works equally well on other grilled meats but is also subtle enough for a piece of charred or pan-fried fish, especially a slightly oily variety.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Page. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
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