13 Dec 2012

Serves 6
PREP 30mins 
COOK 1hr 25mins


1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic bulb
1.5kg easy-carve lamb leg
2 rosemary sprigs, broken small sprigs
12 eschalots, peeled
1 bunch asparagus, peeled, trimmed
2 golden delicious apples
100g baby spinach
1/2 bunch dill, fronds only
1 bunch tarragon, leaves only
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only
1/4 cup (35g) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (40g) blanched almonds, roasted, roughly chopped

mustard dressing
grated rind of 1/2 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil


 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Toast cumin seeds in a small frying pan on medium heat for 1-2 mins, until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and roughly grind. Stir in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Season with freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

2 Separate garlic cloves. Peel two cloves and thickly slice. Make small incisions in skin of lamb and insert rosemary and garlic slices. Place lamb in a roasting pan and brush with cumin mixture. Roast for 35 mins, then add eschalots and remaining garlic cloves to pan. Roast for another 45 mins for medium, or until lamb is cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile, to make dressing, mix together lemon rind and juice, mustard and honey. Whisk in oil and season to taste. Set aside.

Cut asparagus diagonally into 5cm lengths. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil on high heat. Add a pinch of salt and asparagus, and cook for 2 mins, until tender crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain on paper towel.

Core apple and cut into 2cm pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add asparagus, baby spinach, dill, tarragon, parsley, pistachios and almonds. Drizzle over dressing. Gently toss to combine. Serve with roast lamb, eschalots and garlic.


Tip- Use a meat thermometer to check when the lamb is done to your liking. Test the thickest part of the meat. As a guide, it’ll read 60C for rare, 65C for medium-rare, 70C for medium and 75C for well done.



 Gary's secrets

•  Easy-carve lamb is a leg with the chump end removed. It is rolled and tied into a uniform shape, so it cooks evenly and is easy to carve into individual portions. Easy-carve lamb legs are available from butchers or use lamb shoulder, on or off the bone.

•  Roasting the lamb at a slightly lower temperature will reduce the amount of moisture lost during cooking. I reckon the flavour is better, too.

•  Experiment with different combinations of herbs and spices – sumac, coriander, oregano and thyme are all lovely with roast lamb.

•  To vary the colour and flavour of the salad, try using different leaves, such as witlof, radicchio and frisée. Hazelnuts and sliced fennel would also work well in this dish. 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 04:15
Gary Mehigan

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