Let’s go in the garden: a plated dish

For this dish, I really wanted to prepare something that conjured up nostalgic childhood memories. With lamb, it was something I grew up eating a lot of, because my parents loved it. With the garnish, I knew I wanted to do something that resembled vegetables sprouting out from the earth, and so I went with beets. Beets are a highly versatile ingredient, since you can use both the bulb and the leaf. Technically, you can use the skins and the stems as well. For mine, I made a point not to peel my beets, because I was going to roast them, and keeping the skins on help them steam and cook faster. So I just recommend giving them a very thorough scrubbing so that you’re not literally eating a mouthful of dirt.

For the lamb itself, I went with a dukkah crust, dukkah being a spice blend of pistachio, hazelnut, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. I had a lamb rack, but I didn’t necessarily want to do crusted lamb chops, since that’s kind of standard, so instead, I decided to take the lamb off the bone, and actually fry the bones so that they can get super roasted for a sauce. For my beets, I paired them with two things. The first being a minted yogurt gelee, since lamb and yogurt and mint just work so well together. The second being a brown butter-pistachio-hazelnut-beet green emulsion, which is honestly my new favorite thing. It’s essentially a pesto di noche, a brown butter pesto, but using beet greens, pistachios and hazelnuts instead of walnuts, and no cheese. It’s super tasty.

Makes 2 servings:
For the roasted beets:
1 baby golden beet
1 baby red beet
olive oil

Rinse your beets very thoroughly, brushing the skins to remove as much dirt as possible, then pat dry. Starting with your yellow beets first, cut those into quarters or eighths, depending on how large they are, lengthwise. Place on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sumac. Wrap tightly. Repeat with your red beets. Roast both in a 400 degree F oven for 45 minutes, or until soft enough to pierce with a fork. Reserve the liquid from both for your reduction sauce.

For the yogurt gelee:
1/4 cup greek yogurt
3 sprigs of fresh mint
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons agar agar
2 teaspoons olive oil
a pinch of salt

Place yogurt into a cheesecloth and squeeze out any water. Steep mint into the water with agar and salt, then bring to a simmer. Once the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, pour into your yogurt mixture and stir with olive oil until incorporated. Pour into silicone half dome molds and refrigerate until set.

For fried mint:
Mint leaves
Vegetable oil
a pinch of salt

Bring oil in a pot to 330 degrees F. Flash fry the mint leaves until translucent and place on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle on salt. Use that same oil to flash fry/roast your lamb bones for the sauce.

For the lamb reduction sauce:
3-4 bones from a lamb rack, fried
reserved juices from the beets
1 clove black garlic
1 shallot, diced
1 bay leaf

Sweat out shallot, black garlic, bay leaf, and salt in a pan lined with the slightest bit of oil. Add in your bones and allow them to cook together until the shallots begin to brown slightly. Add in water to deglaze, as well as the beet juices and allow that to reduce down by 3/4ths. Pass through a sieve to remove any solids and allow the sauce to stay warm in a bain marie until it’s time to plate.

For the dukkah crust:
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons pistachios, shelled
3 tablespoons hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Blitz together to form a fine powder.

For the beet green emulsion:
1/2 cup beet greens
4 tablespoons brown butter
3 tablespoons hazelnuts
3 tablespoons pistachios, shelled
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blanch the beet greens in salted water then shock in ice. Chop down and squeeze out any excess water. Puree together with your hazelnuts, pistachios, and brown butter into a smooth, vibrant green mixture and finish with salt to season.

For the lamb:
1 lamb rack, bones removed

Season the lamb with the salt and pepper first. In a hot pan, sear the lamb meat on each side for 1 minute per side(4 sides total). Roll in the dukkah and continue to sear a further 1 1/2 minutes per side(doing it this way will prevent the dukkah from burning). Once the lamb reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F, take off heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing in half for plating.

To plate:
Start with a swipe of your emulsion on the bottom. Garnish with your gelee, roasted beets, fried mint, and either microherbs or arugula. Frisee also works here too! For the lamb, start with a circle of the sauce, then garnish with your two slices of the lamb.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Virginia L. says:

    Thanks for taking us to the garden. Love love every element and how you plate it! Work of edible art!

    Liked by 1 person

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