Great times – asparagus is in season! I’ve used it here with a herb-crusted rack of lamb. This recipe looks impressive yet it’s extremely easy. The combination of honey and pine nuts with the herbs for the lamb give this dish a suggestion of sweetness amongst the savoury tastes. And the roasted asparagus add more sweet, tender tastes.
I’ve made this recipe using gluten-free polenta, instead of the traditional breadcrumbs to make a delicious crust – and it is well worth finding the quick-cook variety as this works the best. Instead of the usual Dijon mustard, I’ve used honey, both for the taste combination and because honey doesn’t contain any preservatives.
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, soya-free, egg-free, citrus-free
Preparation time 5 minutes cooking time 30–35 minutes serves 4
- 2 French-trimmed racks of lamb
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large handfuls chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 50g pine nuts
- 40g quick-cook polenta
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 500g asparagus, woody ends removed
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- boiled new potatoes, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Score the layer of fat on each lamb rack and sprinkle salt over them. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the lamb racks and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned all over.
- Put the herbs, garlic, pine nuts and polenta into a food processor and blend to form a paste. With the motor running, pour in 2 tbsp of the oil until well combined.
- Heat the honey in a small saucepan over a gentle heat until almost bubbling. When the lamb has browned, remove from the frying pan and place on a roasting tin, fat-side up. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of honey over the top of the fat and then cover with the herb mixture, pressing down well. Cook the lamb for 25-30 minutes, depending on how pink you like the meat.
- When the lamb has been cooking for 20 minutes, place the asparagus on a baking tray. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and roast for 10 minutes until tender.
- When the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven, cover with greaseproof paper, ensuring the ends of the paper are tucked under the tin, and leave to stand in a warm place for 5 minutes.
- Carve the lamb into cutlets, taking care not to dislodge the crust, and serve with the roasted asparagus and boiled new potatoes.