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Angelo Georgalli shares his enthusiasm for fresh New Zealand produce and game with recipes from his book The Game Chef.
Rack of Lamb with Grilled Haloumi & Asparagus
Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
If I were a dish, I would be this one. Mum's Italian, hence the pesto. Dad's Greek-Cypriot, hence the haloumi, and I've been living in New Zealand for the past 16 years, much like the lamb. This is a dish that's come from my heart and soul, and it tastes bloody amazing.
1 lamb rack or 8 cutlets, trimmed
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Rosemary sprig for brushing
10 asparagus spears, trimmed
6 tomatoes, halved
150g haloumi cheese, cut into 1cm slices
2 cups rocket or watercress
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
Place the lamb in a bowl and toss with the rosemary leaves, half of the lemon juice, and the salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for a few minutes.
Cook the lamb racks on the barbecue grill for 5-7 minutes on each side. While the lamb is cooking, sprinkle it with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper, then brush it with a sprig of rosemary doused in olive oil to impart more flavour. Set the cooked lamb aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
In a bowl, toss the asparagus spears with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Season the halved tomatoes with salt and pepper and cook on the barbecue grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, seasoning to taste with more salt and pepper.
Cook the asparagus spears on the barbecue grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until al dente, basting with the remaining lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
Brush the sliced haloumi with the olive oil-doused rosemary sprig and sprinkle with a pinch of pepper, then cook on the grill for 2 minutes on each side.
Make the salad by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and tossing well.
Serve the lamb stacked on a bed of salad, tomatoes and haloumi cheese with the asparagus on the side. Garnish with a dollop of pesto and scattering of lemon zest.