Here is a little secret for you about South Africans – we love summer, sun and good food & wine! I mean we basically have summer eight months of the year and even when it is winter we have sunny skies, perhaps a bit cold sometimes, like this week, a cold front from the Cape is approaching, but still sunny and open blue skies! And when I read my fellow food blogger Conor Bofin’s post this morning about how foul his mood is due to the grey skies in Ireland, I thought why not bring my publishing date forward of this lovely summer salad, in sympathy, Conor and just to say mate, hang in there, I feel your pain.
To celebrate the arrival of warmer weather, longer days, plenty of sunshine and just an overall zest for life I have been experimenting with this delectable little salad for some time now and would like to share it with you. Most of the components can be made in advance and you just assemble once the lamb comes of the coals. For this recipe I have used rump of lamb, most of you will know it by its older and traditional name which is chump. This recipe gives you 6 substantial salads which can be served as a main course.
- 20 – 30ml Baharat Nine Spice (click to see my recipe)
- Salt to taste
- 1kg Rump of Lamb
- 40ml Olive Oil
For the Radish Raita:
- 10-12 Large Radishes – finely grated
- 100 – 150ml Double Greek Yoghurt
- Juice of half a lemon
- 20ml Olive Oil
- 1 Clove of garlic – crushed
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
For the Salad:
- 1 pack or about 200g Fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 pack or about 100g Fresh watercress
- A mix of garden herbs such as thyme, basil and marjoram
- 2 medium purple onions, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely crushed
- 4-5 Rounds of a good and firm feta – diced
- 20ml Olive Oil
For the Dressing:
- 60ml Olive Oil
- 20ml Sesame Oil
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tsp Wholegrain Dijon
For the Meat: Rub your meat with the olive oil, season it well with some salt and then rub the Baharat Spice mix into it. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, braai (bbq) it over hot coals until meat is done according to your taste – I like mine to be still pink on the inside, that is about 3-4 minutes on each side. Once done, set aside and allow the meat to rest while you do the rest of the preparations.
For the Radish Raita: Wash and finely grate the radishes in a bowl. Remember to squeeze the water out of the radishes once grated. Then mix the grated radishes with all the other ingredients and set aside. If you don’t squeeze the water out, it will be runny and watery.
For the Salad: Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients for the dressing in a bottle. Shake the bottle violently so that it emulsify – releasing all pent-up anger about bad weather! Pour over the leaf and herb mix in a large bowl and set aside. Dice the feta cheese and mix it with the lemon juice, some fresh thyme and all the garlic, heat the oil in a large pan and pan-fry the feta until they are golden and crisp.
- Slice the lamb into bite size pieces. Reserve the board juices.
- Place a good handful of the dressed leaves on a plate.
- Arrange some of the meat to one side and top it with a good dollop of the radish raita.
- Sprinkle some of the feta and sliced purple onions around the plate.
- Drizzle some of the board juices of the cut meat over the salad as well, it adds flavour and depth.
- Serve with a glass of Cabernet Franc and some crusty breads to soak up all those lovely juices and dressings.
Enjoy and celebrate summer wherever you are if you make this!