Leg of Lamb Medallion, Dijon Mustard Anchovy Crust
Polenta Cake, Spinach, Parsley, Tomato
Warm Anchovy – Pine Nut Vinaigrette
I’ve been testing leg of lamb recipes for an upcoming event. One of the requirements of the challenge is that the entire recipe use no more than 10 ingredients (not including salt & pepper). So my goal is to get as many colors, textures, and memorable flavors into the lamb main-course dish as possible. Another guideline stipulates that all ingredients must be commonly available – so no Italian summer truffle, no foie gras (now banned here in California).
- Leg of Lamb Roast
- Olive Oil
- Pine Nuts
- Dijon Mustard
- Sherry Vinegar
In the midst of Taste With The Eyes 5th Anniversary Celebration, I was invited by Kiri of Heathy Foodie Travels to contribute a Guest Post on her blog. This is fun as I am simultaneously hosting Guest Posts of 5 Fabulous Blogger Friends in Honor of 5 Years of Blogging on my site. Kiri is someone who admittedly is obsessed with food, all kinds, and being a world-traveler, is also an adventurous eater. Unfortunately that obsession led her to a weight problem which she subsequently tackled, losing over 100 pounds! She also deserves recognition and a hearty congratulations on recently receiving her Doctorate in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. Best wishes for continued success, Kiri!
I thought this Lamb Medallion Stack with Warm Anchovy-Pine Nut Vinaigrette might appeal to Kiri, as it is super-satisfying, not a diet-buster, and packed with loads of flavor! Each lamb medallion is only about 3 to 4 oz., the polenta is made with water (no milk, cream, or cheese), and the vinaigrette is intense and nutty so only a small amount is needed to make the dish pop! The spinach, parsley, and tomatoes keep it fresh and bright and healthy.
Leg of Lamb Medallion Recipe
Bring 6 c. lightly salted water to a boil. Slowly add 2 c. polenta, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, add more hot water if needed. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. Spread the hot polenta in a greased 9X13 baking dish, to a layer that is about 1″ thick. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate 2 hours. Using a 2 1/2″ cutter, cut the cooled polenta into discs.
Rub a leg of lamb with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook with the netting left on – it is oven-proof and holds the roast together. Roast at 425°F for 30 minutes then lower the temperature to 325°F and cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F. Remove the roast from the oven and let it come to room temperature. The roast will continue to cook outside the oven and come up to about 130°F, but the meat will still be rare.
Slice the cooled roast into 1″ to 1 1/2″ thick slices then trim the slices into 3 to 4 oz. medallions, removing visible fat. A whole roast will make about 8 to 12 portions. Reserve the trimmed pieces for another use (or a snack). Lightly brush each side of the medallion with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Sear each side in a hot non-stick oven-proof pan.
Mix 1/4 c. Dijon mustard with 4 chopped anchovies, 2 T. chopped parsley, and fresh ground pepper. Spread the mustard mixture over the medallions and place under the broiler until the mustard begins to brown. Although the lamb starts out rare, this double cooking method results in medallions that are cooked to medium doneness, with a nicely browned exterior.
Warm Anchovy-Pine Nut Vinaigrette
- 4 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, dried with paper towels, rough chopped
- 1/4 c. lightly toasted pine nuts, rough chopped
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c. sherry vinegar
- 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
- fresh ground pepper
In a small sauce pan whisk together the oil and vinegar, add the anchovies and pine nuts. Add pepper to taste. Stir over medium heat until warm, about 2 to 3 minutes, then finish by adding the parsley.
Brush the polenta discs with a very small amount of olive oil. Place under the broiler until warm and beginning to crisp.
To serve – place a lamb medallion in the center of a plate. Top with a polenta cake. Place chopped spinach and flat-leaf parsley leaves on top of the polenta and scatter around the plate. Arrange tomato wedges around the stack. Spoon warm vinaigrette over the stack and tomatoes.
This dish makes a fabulous main course for entertaining. The only last-minute prep is to sear the medallions, and broil the mustard-coasted lamb and polenta for a couple minutes. Plating is quick and not fussy – stack the lamb and polenta cake, add the vegetables, ladle the dressing. Voilà! Guests will certainly enjoy this super-flavorful fresh dish, with its bright red, green and yellow colors to Taste With The Eyes…
Thank you for inviting me to share a dish on Healthy Foodie Travels! And best wishes for continued success, Kiri!
Toujours Bon Appétit,