18 May 2013

Spiced Rack of Lamb with a Roasted Squash Salad

It's nearly over.
A month's worth of hardcore studying and only one exam left to go. 
It's been very odd compared to the last few years: no end of term celebrations or summer school events.
Instead uni has just kind of petered out due to our odd term timetables and everyone finishing exams at different times!
I can't wait to finish, one because it means I will have so much more free time in the kitchen to finish and experiment with all the draft blog posts that are filling up my blogger account, full of all the ideas I've had whilst revising! But also because I'm off to Sri Lanka for a whole month. 
I'm off to volunteer with a few good uni friends in a volunteering centre run by a Sri Lankan family who work with the local orphanage, school and home for the elderly. 
I really can't wait to meet the people out there- I hear there's even a chance I may get to teach swimming lessons!- which I'd love, and we're also planning on visiting the elephant and turtle sanctuary nearby.
I'm also really excited to sample Sri Lankan food!
So although I may become a little quiet over the next few weeks (although I'm saving up some good recipes to post for you whilst I'm away) I will hopefully return with lots of tropical, Sri Lankan inspired dishes!

In the meantime, before I start packing and preparing, I have a few more recipes to share with you. 
This has been one of my most favourite suppers recently. 
I made this supper for a bit of a special occasion and its influenced by some of Ottolenghi's Middle Eastern style cooking.

It's the type of supper to share with friends over a good cold glass of white wine out in the sun. 

The lamb is a deliciously tender, cinnamon and sumac spiced recipe served with a fruit couscous and a nutritious earthy butternut squash salad which is also great cold for lunch the next day! 

Spiced rack of lamb with couscous and a roasted butternut squash and chickpea salad.

Hands-on time: about 30 min
Cooking time: about: 30 min
Serves: 2

For the couscous:
150g couscous
260ml vegetable stock
50g whole almonds
100g pre-cooked Puy lentils
75g pitted soft dates, chopped
salt and pepper

For the lamb: 

Rack of lamb (approx 275g)
2tsp sumac
1tsp cumin seeds, ground
1tsp cinnamon
1tbsp olive oil

For the salad:
450g butternut squash (when peeled,seeds removed and cut into small chunks.) 
Salt and pepper
1½ tbsp olive oil
1tsp sumac  
½ tsp paprika
½ large red onion
200g chickpeas
Small sprig fresh mint
Large handful of spinach leaves 

For the dressing:

1 small garlic clove, crushed
2tsp tahini
1tbsp natural yoghurt
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp water
1tsp lemon juice

1.    Preheat the oven to 220°C, (200°C fan) 400F, mark 6
2.    Mix together the spices for the lamb and then rub all over the lamb with some salt, pepper and the olive oil. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
3.    Meanwhile, add the butternut squash to a roasting tray with some salt and pepper, the sumac, paprika and olive oil and mix well to coat the squash. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until soft.
4.    After 10 minutes, put a frying pan onto a high heat with 1tbsp olive oil. When the oil is really hot, sear the lamb for 2 minutes on each side and the ends of lamb and then put the lamb in a separate roasting tray along with the juices from the frying pan and 2tbsp water.  Roast the lamb in the oven for 9-10 minutes and then remove from the oven and cover with foil until ready to serve.
5.    Whilst the lamb is cooking, heat the vegetable stock in a small pan until boiling and then add the couscous. Stir and cover with a lid until all the water is absorbed and then remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
6.    To make the dressing, mix together all the dressing ingredients until smooth. When the butternut squash is cooked, remove from the oven and toss in a bowl along with the chickpeas, red onion, mint and 1 tbsp of the tahini dressing.  Serve on top of a bed of spinach leaves.
7.    Using a fork, fluff up the couscous and then add in the chopped dates and Puy lentils along with 1 tbsp olive oil. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan on a high heat for 3 minutes and add to the couscous.
8.    Serve the lamb on top of the couscous with the salad, garnished with a little more chopped mint. 


  1. The salad and the couscous look absolutely delicious! I love that you put dates and lentils in it as well (I think lentils are totally underused, they're so cheap, nutritious and delicious... ). I love almonds too, but my boyfriend is allergic to nuts (which is so sad, because I used to live on nuts, but oh well the things you do for love haha).
    Might have to try both the salad and the couscous, yum!

  2. Oh my yummy yum!!! Looks delicious! Especially the butternut squash so good!!

    Katie <3

    1. thank you!! I absolutely love butternut squash the whole year through. I had the salad for lunch the next day too:) yummy. xx

  3. My mum does a similar dish with Lamb and Apricots, such a great middle Eastern combo.
    I would love to have this colourful salad all by itself on a summer's day while chilling in the garden :)
    Have an amazing time in Sri Lanka....I can't wait to see all your new exotic dishes
    x x x

  4. Girl you know how to cook! This looks incredible! x

  5. Yum - this looks amazing! Might have to try it out :) x


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's really appreciated and lovely to hear some feedback. Katie x