Giorgio Locatell’s- spring lamb with peppers and aubergines

Poultry, Game & Meat

Agnello primaverile all griglia con peperonata e melanzane

Ingredients

2 aubergines (pale egg-shaped ones if you can find them)

2 garlic cloves

sprig of rosemary

about 150ml extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, cut into about 2cm dice

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into about 2cm dice

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into about 2cm dice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 spring onions

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 lamb fillets, each about 180g

small bunch of basil

1 tablespoon tomato passata

8 tablespoons Lamb Sauce

2 handfuls of mixed leaves

2 tablespoons Giorgio’s Vinaigrette

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/ gas 7. Halve the aubergines lengthways, then place them on a work surface, skin side down. Using a sharp knife, score the flesh quite deeply at an angle one way and then the other way, to give a diamond pattern. Slice the garlic quite thickly and slot the pieces into the cuts in the aubergines at random – about two pieces per half of aubergine. Push some leaves of rosemary into the some of the other slots. Put the halves of aubergine back together, so that you now have 2 ‘whole’ ones again, and wrap in foil. Put on a baking tray and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes (they need to be well cooked – if you push your finger against them, it should make a dent).

2 While the aubergines are cooking, Take the pan off the heat and keep to one side.

3 When the aubergines are cooked, remove the foil, then take out the garlic and rosemary. Spoon out the aubergine flesh into a colander and leave to cool and drain. When cool, chop it finely.

4 Heat 2 more tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan, add the spring onions and cook gently for a few minutes, then add the chopped aubergine flesh and the tomato paste, and cook for about 5 minutes. If you feel the aubergines are still too wet, carry on cooking a little longer until they lose their moisture. Season.

5 While the aubergines are cooking, put the pan containing the pepper back on the heat. Add the basil and tomato passata and simmer to let any excess liquid evaporate (take care not to overcook the peppers – if they start to get soft, just strain off the excess liquid instead). Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

6 While that is simmering, heat a griddle pan until smoking. Season the lamb and brush with a little of the olive oil. Put the lamb on the griddle pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness (this will give pink meat, so cook longer if you prefer). Take off the heat and keep warm.

7 Warm up the lamb sauce in a small pan. Season the salad leaves and toss with the vinaigrette.

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