Id like to say that spring is here, but with the recent weather who knows when well be plunged back into deepest winter; there are rumours of more snow for Easter weekend.
Regardless, it hasnt stopped the sheep doing what comes naturally, and lambs are now frolicking through windswept fields, wondering why they have been born into this icy hellscape.
And just to prove that its almost April, my first box of Wye Valley asparagus has arrived, so things really are looking up. Lamb is the traditional meat to eat at this time of year, but Im not sure how many of us celebrate Easter in a culinary way, except by buying chocolate eggs.
But if youre after something a little more savoury, consider throwing an Easter dinner party and celebrating with lamb. You can finish it off with a chocolate dessert made by melting down all that extra chocolate you have left. Assuming youve left any at all.
Easter lamb and asparagus salad recipe
You can incorporate a bit of offal like sweetbreads or kidney into this salad if you want to vary the flavours and textures or just go for straight lamb. If you cant get hold of the under fillets from the saddle then a rump or piece of boneless saddle will do the trick.
- 4 lamb under fillets
- 2 lamb kidneys (optional)
- 4-6 asparagus spears
- 60-80g small salad leaves like pea shoots, land cress, pennywort, rocket
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1tbsp good-quality cider vinegar
- 2tsp Tewkesbury or Dijon mustard
- 4tbsp rapeseed oil
- Cut the tips off the asparagus to about 4-5cm. With a swivel peeler shave the stems lengthways into iced water. Cook the tips in boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes until tender then drain and refresh in cold water. Then drain and pat dry on some kitchen paper.
- Season the lamb kidney if using and the fillets. Heat a little vegetable oil in a heavy frying or griddle pan, until it is almost smoking, and cook the kidneys for about 3-4 minutes on each side and the fillets for about a minute each side, ensuring both remain pink. Now transfer to a plate to catch any juices.
- Whisk the vinegar, mustard and oil with the lamb juices to make a dressing, and season.
- Arrange the salad leaves and asparagus on plate and spoon over half of the dressing, then arrange on four plates.
- Slice the lamb fillet and kidney thinly and place the slices in amongst the salad and spoon over a little more dressing.