Diary of a Foodie

Mediterranean Lamb Salad

Diary of a Foodie: Season Three: Tasmania: The Next Culinary Frontier

  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:1 hr
February 2009
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  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 top round lamb roast (1 3/4 to 2 lb), trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 large fennel bulb (1 lb), trimmed, reserving fronds
  • 2 cups grape or small cherry tomatoes (10 oz), halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Equipment:

    an electric coffee/spice grinder; an adjustable-blade slicer
  • Garnish:

    chopped fennel fronds
  • Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
  • Finely grind fennel seeds in grinder and transfer to a small bowl. Stir together with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, then rub all over lamb.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown meat, turning once, about 6 minutes total. Transfer skillet to oven and roast lamb until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 130°F, 20 to 25 minutes (for medium-rare). Transfer lamb to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes. Pour off fat from skillet and add water, then scrape up brown bits and reserve.
  • While meat rests, slice fennel paper-thin lengthwise with slicer. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with tomatoes, parsley, olives, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, and remaining 2 Tbsp oil.
  • Thinly slice lamb across the grain and serve over salad. Spoon meat juices from cutting board on top.
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