Easter Entree: Roast Lamb and Garlic White Bean Puree
I like to think of this as a healthy cooking blog. My meals are fresh and low calorie, full of “real foods” cooked from scratch. I don’t often use butter or cream. The meals I make are healthy options for someone living a busy lifestyle but wanting to eat well and still maintain their figure. And while I have spent the past few months eating many a spaghetti squash, experimenting with tofu, and dying to jump on the kale chip band wagon, there is one thing I have not really addressed: meat.
I love meat. I love every kind of meat. Actually, I could skip the chicken and turkey. Give me a steak, or pork, or venison, or duck. I have even had kangaroo, and it was amazing (they are the deer of Australia). You will never see me eating fake meat, aka something that is made to taste like meat but isn’t. Even turkey bacon makes me squeem a bit. Bacon is too good to fake! I am not going to get into the political side of things, the Food Inc. and terrible farming conditions, as it is a discussion not meant for this particular cooking blog. But when it comes to healthy living, I believe that the occasional piece of organic, grass fed, lean red meat does the body good. Like a glass of red wine. Which coincidentally goes very well with red meat 🙂
And then comes lamb. Oh lamb, how I love thee! I remember Sunday roasts during the English springtime, when my Mom would describe eating a good piece of lamb as “being able to taste the grass they fed on”. I completely agree. Lamb is such a fresh meat, especially if it comes from Australia or New Zealand, and you can taste the fields it grazed in. Yes, lamb may not be the leanest of meats, but considering I eat it once or twice a year it is such a treat. I knew when planning this Easter I had to have lamb, along with healthful sides, so every bite was decadence I enjoyed. That is what I consider living a healthy lifestyle: balance and joy.
Garlic Roast Lamb (cooked by Z!)
1 3lb leg of lamb, semi bone in
10 cloves of garlic, cut in half or quarters lengthwise
Salt, pepper, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme
1/4 cup Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 475*
Spray a roasting dish with Pam and place the lamb on top.
Start by cutting small slits all around the lamb with a sharp knife, about the size of garlic cloves. Put a piece of a garlic clove in each slit.
In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and basil to your liking. Take the rub and pat it all over the lamb, creating a layer of crust.
Dab the crust all over with olive oil.
Put a layer of tin foil over the lamb and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Then turn the lamb over, recover, and cook for 30 more minutes.
Turn the lamb over a third time and turn the temperature down to 400*. Cover again with the foil and cook for 15 minutes. Turn again and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn the temperature down to 350* and repeat the process, 15 minutes a side.
Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 20 minutes. Carve and serve!
White Bean and Roasted Garlic Puree
2 cans canellini beans
8 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
Salt and pepper
Put the garlic cloves in an oven proof dish sprayed with pam and place in the oven with the lamb. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the cloves are golden and soft all the way through. Set aside.
Finely chop the onion and saute with a little olive oil until soft.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the beans for 2 minutes, or until hot all the way through.
Put the beans, garlic, and onions and your food processor and process until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly stream in the olive oil and continue to process until no lumps remain. Season with salt and pepper and place in serving dish.
Minted Peas and Pearl Onions
1 package frozen peas
1 package frozen pearl onions
Handful of fresh mint
1 teaspoon butter
Salt to taste.
Heat the peas and onions together until no longer frozen. Drain.
Finely chop the mint and toss in a bowl with the peas, onions, and butter. Add a little salt to taste and place in serving dish.
The meal turned out very light and fresh, perfect for spring. The rich decadence of the lamb paired well with the minty peas and the whipped beans, which I preferred to the roast potatoes I usually would have made. The beans are positively addictive, and the pearl onions pop in your mouth. For cooking my first Easter meal for three people, I think these recipes were simple yet impressive. I would consider making this on any spring Sunday, and the side dishes I would definitely repeat during the week. And the lamb…the lamb!…was joyous. Especially with all of that garlic 🙂 A definite success.
What is your favorite type of meat? What is your favorite way to have it cooked?