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Roast lamb with jewelled freekeh & wheatberry salad
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by Emma Spitzer
1kg lamb neck fillet, cut into 2cm rounds and trimmed of any fat
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp zaatar
2 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 echalion shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp sumac
3 x 250g packs wholegrain rice, freekeh & wheatberry
50g pistachio kernels, roasted and finely chopped
4 sprigs mint, leaves only, finely chopped, plus whole leaves to garnish
2 tbsp barberries
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds, plus 1 tbsp to garnish
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3. Line a baking tray with a piece of foil large enough to wrap the lamb in. Make small incisions in the lamb with the tip of a sharp knife, and stud with the garlic slices. Sprinkle over the zaatar. Reserving the lemon zest, squeeze the lemon juice over the lamb. Season with ½ tsp fine sea salt and some pepper, then fold the foil to make a parcel. Roast for 3 hours, opening the foil for the final 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots with the sumac and a pinch of salt for around 10 minutes, until soft and slightly golden. Set aside.
3. Cook the grains according to pack instructions, then leave to cool. Put the pistachios, mint, barberries and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl. Stir through the cooled grains and add the extra virgin olive oil. Check for seasoning, then set aside.
4. When the lamb is ready, stir the reserved lemon zest and shallot through the salad, then tip onto a large serving platter and spoon the lamb pieces over the top. Top with extra mint leaves and pomegranate seeds before serving.
Emma’s tip If you can’t get the pouches, use 150g each quick cook freekeh and farro (dried weight). Barberries can also be substituted with sour cherries or cranberries.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in September 2021.