The beauty about a roast rack of lamb is how ridiculously quick and easy it is to make and is always impressive. Get your butcher to French trim it for you, then all you need to do is chop up this delicious salsa verde while the lamb roasts in the oven for 20 minutes. Any kind of potato dish is perfect with this simple feast, but I adore tossing hot boiled new potatoes in really good olive oil, lemon zest, parsley, mint and seasoning. They soak the oil and aromatics up and it’s hard to resist eating them before they get to the table.
I’ve chosen this dish to pair with the DeWetshof Estate Bateleur Chardonnay, which stands up beautifully to lamb. It’s their top-tier wine made from grapes from the oldest Chardonnay vineyard in South Africa. Planted in 1987 from plant material imported from Burgundy, it was also around this time that I fell in love with Chardonnay. I was lucky enough to taste some of the first wine produced from these vineyards and met the legendary Danie De Wet who paved the way for Chardonnay production in this country. He has been a hero to mine since.
This wine, which is named after a majestic bird of prey – the Bateleur Eagle, is the perfect expression of the Chardonnay varietal. It sells for record prices at the Nederburg Wine Auction and is one to savour and enjoy on special occasions.
* Cooks notes:
A rack of lamb normally yields about 8 – 10 small cutlets, so depending on how big an eater you are serving these to, you may need to double up on the racks. A nice leafy green salad or minty peas would make delicious additional side dishes.
PS: I would like like to jump in and add that I think this is the best tasting salsa verde I have made. I love anchovies and capers, so this Italian-style rendition will be my go-to going forward. Its such a flavour packed sauce to serve with so many things, including slathered onto a crusty baguette.
Recipe – serves 3 – 4 as a light meal
Rack of lamb with minty salsa verde
- 1 rack of lamb, French trimmed
- Olive oil
- A few rosemary stalks
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- a small handful of: mint, basil and parsley (equal quantities) – finely chopped
- The total quantity chopped will be ¼ cup
- 2 Tbsp drained capers (whole)
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 5 – 6 Tbsp really good Extra virgin olive oil
- Additional sea salt and black pepper (optional an to taste)
- 700gms new potatoes (I love the Woolies Mediterranean new potatoes)
- Zest for half a lemon peeled off with a vegetable peeler
- Zest from the other half a lemon, finely grated
- 2 rosemary stalks
- Half a handful parsley and mint, stalks removed and chopped
- Maldon salt and black pepper
To cook the lamb
- Pre heat the oven to 190C
- Heat a non-stick skillet to searing hot, brush the lamb lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat starting with the fat side down until golden. Move the rack around to expose all the meat parts to the heat to seal. Place this in a small roasting dish on tip of 3 stalks of rosemary (tip – dip the stalks in the boiling water the potatoes are about to cook in to rerelease the aromatics). Roast for 20-25 minutes if it’s a small rack and if you like your lamb pink in the middle. Remove, cover with foil and allow it to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
To make the potatoes
- Bring a medium pot filled with water to the boil. Add the peeled lemon zest, salt and rosemary and cook your potatoes until they are knife tender. Drain, remove the aromatics and then toss in a good glug of olive oil, the chopped parsley and mint and season well with seas salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To make the salsa verde
- Chop the herbs by hand and then chop the capers and anchovies separately and combine them with all the ingredients. This can be made ahead
I produced a series of recipes that pair well with the delectable range of De Wetshof Estate Chardonnays and these are all of the others:
This post is proudly sponsored by De Wetshof Estate
Find me on Instagram