This deliciously tasty dish, reminiscent of the eastern Mediterranean, is from Loukie Werle's terrific self-published cookbook, The Valley (2017). "This salad delivers flavour and texture in spades," says Loukie.
- Prep Time : 20-30 minutes
- Cook Time : 8 minutes
- Yield : 6
- ground cumin - 2 teaspoons
- salt - 2 teaspoons
- cracked black pepper - 2 teaspoons
- lamb backstraps - 750g
- extra virgin olive oil
- salad leaves - 4-6 handfuls, rinsed and spun dry, torn into bite-size pieces
- cooked baby beetroots - 250g (see tip below)
- asparagus - 2 bunches, blanched and cut into 5cm pieces
- lightly roasted hazelnuts - 1/3 cup, coarsely chopped
- Minted Yoghurt
- Greek yoghurt - 1 cup (250ml)
- freshly chopped mint - 2 tablespoonss
- red wine vinegar - 2 teaspoons
- extra virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Combine cumin, salt and pepper on a plate and mix well. Spread evenly over the plate. Brush lamb with the oil, then roll lamb in the mixture, coating all over. Heat a large frying pan over moderately high heat, add lamb and cook 3-4 minutes each side. Transfer to a heated plate and cover loosely with foil to rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile combine yoghurt and mint in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Combine salad leaves and beetroot in a bowl. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and olive oil with a good pinch of salt and whisk until salt has dissolved, then whisk in oil until the mixture has emulsified. Combine with salad leaves and beetroot. Toss with asparagus and arrange on a platter.
Slice lamb diagonally, scatter with hazelnuts, and serve the salad with minted yoghurt.
Tip: Loukie notes that cooked beetroot is no available in the chilled section of supermarkets - "what a great idea: no more red stained hands, or worse, red everywhere, on tea towels, chopping boards, and all over your freshly laundered white shirt," she says.