Happy Easter everyone! With Easter we celebrate Spring by eating eggs and lamb. Recently I posted a recipe for veal scaloppine with balsamic, and blogging buddy Kathryn aka Anotherfoodieblogger commented that it could also be made with lamb. I really liked that idea, especially since I had purchased some lamb loin fillets and had not decided yet what I was going to prepare with them. (Lamb loin fillets are the same cut of lamb as rack of lamb, but they do not include the ribs. You could also make this with lamb tenderloin.)
Pounding the lamb loin fillets into scaloppine makes them very quick and easy to cook. Cooking the lamb and making the sauce can be done in 10 minutes or so. Even including roasting the eggplant and photographing everything, I had this dish on the table in 30 minutes and it was very tasty indeed. The sauce worked very well with the lamb, as well as with the eggplant. The lamb was tender and tasty. I will definitely prepare lamb this way again. Thanks for the inspiration, Kathryn! Here’s what I did…
2 lamb loin fillets of about 150 grams (5 oz) each
120 ml (1/2 cup) red wine
2 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar, preferably aceto balsamico tradizionale
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
1 Tbsp butter
If you like you could put the eggplant cubes in a colander, sprinkle them with salt and allow to stand for half an hour with a weight on top to draw out the juices, but that is not strictly necessary if you are in a hurry like I was. If you do, then rise them with water after half an hour and pat them dry with paper towels before continuing.
Toss the eggplant with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Roast at 225ºC/440ºF until golden, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, pound the lamb thin between two sheets of plastic wrap with a meat hammer. (I appropriated Kees’ rubber hammer that he uses for the pavement in the yard, and that works fine, too.) You want the meat to be between 4 and 6 mm (between 1/6 and 1/4 inch).
Heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the rosemary and garlic and tilt the pan so the oil is infused with rosemary and garlic. When the garlic is golden, discard the garlic and rosemary.
This is lovely with a pinot noir, especially if it matches the acidity of the sauce (which depends on the quality of the balsamic and the red wine that you used to make the sauce).
Roasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables because it concentrates the flavor and makes the outside nice and crispy. Roasted parsnips with excellent texture can be made by parcooking them first. Steaming is better than (par)boiling, because boiling will dilute the flavor rather than concentrating it. By making a stock out of the parsnips peels, and parboiling the parsnip slices in that stock, the parsnip flavor will be concentrated.