The day on Franco’s sheep farm, which culminated in this magnificent spread, pushed me – a spoilt city boy inside and out – almost over my limit. It started off with sheep sheering, which left my hands smelling of live cattle for days plus a few miserable sheep scarred for life, went on to a lung and intestine tasting that I pretended were just delightful, and culminated in cooking this dish to camera while a swarm of five thousand flies constantly lands in my prep, my food and every possible camera shot. I was completely proud to have survived intact. The lamb in this salad should be just warm – serve it cold and the fat will set, excessive heat will cause the leaves to wilt.
- 1.9 kg shoulder of lamb, bone in
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 2 tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half widthways
- 1 small radicchio, cut into 2cm wedges (150 g net)
- 3 chicories, halved lengthways (200 g net)
- 1½ tbsp honey
- 4 large sprigs of rosemary
- 4 sage stems
- 15 figs, halved (600 g net)
- 20 g rocket
- coarse sea salt and black pepper
- 70 ml olive oil
- 90 ml lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tbsp pomegranate molasses
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.
Cooling time 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Place the lamb shoulder in a medium roasting tray, skin side up, and spoon over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the lemon juice, mint, thyme, 1 tablespoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Rub well, place the garlic halves next to the lamb, cut side down, and cover the tray with foil. Roast in the oven for 5 hours, regularly basting the meat with the cooking juices. Once completely tender, remove from the oven and allow the meat to cool slightly. Shred into bite size pieces, discarding any skin or fatty pieces and set aside in a warm place. Before serving, drain the liquid from the lamb.
While the lamb is cooling increase the oven temperature to 220°C. Put the radicchio and chicory in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the honey and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Lay on a baking tray along with the rosemary and sage, and cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until a knife cuts through the thickest part easily. Set aside.
While the chicory and raddichio are cooking place the figs in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix gently. Place on a tray and cook in the oven, alongside the leaves, for 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Remove.
For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and set aside.
Assemble by laying the chicory and radicchio on a large platter, scatter with half the rocket and top with the warm lamb. Dot with the figs, top with the remaining rocket, drizzle over the dressing and serve at once.
View all the recipes from Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Island Feast.