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Lamb with Artichoke, Peas and Salsa Verde

A fabulous Spring dish - perfect to make a dull day special!

Difficulty: Medium (the artichokes are a little fiddly…. Everything else is easy)
Serves: 4

The dish
1. Marinate the lamb (1-2 hours in advance)
2. Cook the artichokes
3. Pre heat the oven to 190c (fan)
4. Make the salsa verde
5. Make the cous cous salad
6. Remove the artichokes from the cooking liquor and place on a baking tray with the cup facing up, fill the centres with the cous cous mix
7. Make the crushed peas
8. Remove the lamb from the marinade and seal in a hot frying pan on all sides, transfer to a shallow roast tray and place in the oven for 8 -10 minutes, rotate the meat every 2 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes
9. Place the stuffed artichokes in the oven to reheat for 5 minutes
10. When ready to serve, carve the meat, and build the plates with a hot stuffed artichoke, the sliced meat, a spoon full of crushed peas and finish with the salsa verde dressing

Marinated Lamb

4 trimmed lamb rumps
1 clove garlic (crushed)
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 pinch crushed black pepper corns
1 tsp Wild Calabrian Fennel Pollen (amazon.co.uk)
1 tbsp honey
4 tbsp olive oil
1 sprig of oregano (roughly chopped)

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients
2. Coat the rumps with the marinade and place into a zip lock bag, remove as much air as possible and seal closed
3. Leave to marinate for 1-2 hours in the fridge

Crushed peas

3 tbsp olive oil
1 banana shallot (finely diced)
400g fresh garden peas (blanched)
1 tbsp chopped oregano
½ tsp Wild Calabrian Fennel Pollen (amazon.co.uk)
salt to taste

1. Sweat the shallot in the olive oil till soft but not coloured
2. Add the remaining ingredients and heat through
3. Crush with a fork or coarsely blitz with a hand blender until it starts to come together

Cous cous mix

200g Israeli cous cous
200g tomato juice
200g chicken stock

1 banana shallot (finely diced)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
50g sundried tomatoes (finely chopped)
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped oregano
2 tbsp baby capers
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

1. Bring the stock and tomato to the boil
2. Add the cous cous and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender
3. Sweat the shallots with the olive oil until tender but not coloured
4. Add the sundried tomato paste and cook out for a couple of minutes
5. Drain the cous cous and add to the shallots and tomato
6. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients, mix well and season to taste

Salsa verde

3g Dill
3g Oregano
3g Mint
3g Parsley
20g Baby capers
10g Anchovies
1g Garlic
10g Dijon
12g Lemon juice
60g Olive oil

1. blanch the herbs in boiling water for 2 minutes, then refresh in ice water
2. squeeze dry and very finely chop
3. pound the capers, anchovies, garlic and dijon in a pestle and mortar till a smooth paste
4. when ready the serve add the chopped herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and season to taste

Artichokes

1 medium onion (diced)
4 cloves of garlic
65g olive oil
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
1 sprig Rosemary
10 black pepper corns
9g salt
200g white wine
30g white wine vinegar
2 lemons
4 medium globe artichokes
1 ltr water

1. In a heavy based skillet heat the olive oil, add the garlic cloves and diced onion and sweat until slightly coloured
2. Add the herbs, pepper corns and salt and cook for a further minute
3. Add the white wine and reduce by half, then add the vinegar
4. Add the juice of both the lemons and one juiced rind of one half to the pan
5. Add the water and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat
6. Prepare the artichokes by snapping off the stalk as close to the base as possible, then snap off all the hard, dark green leaves. Cut the top leaves off just above the choke. With a small sharp knife pair away any hard or green parts and rub with half a lemon to prevent discolouring. Dig out all of the choke and place the prepared heart into the pan with the cooking liquor. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
7. Cover the artichokes with a paper cartouche and bring to a simmer, cook for 15-20 minutes until the heart is tender. Test by poking the heart with the tip of a sharp knife, it should feel like cooked potato.
8. Allow to cool in the liquid.