'If I were a dish, I would be this one'

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 and Asparagus. Photo: Sally Greer
Rack of Lamb with Grilled Haloumi and Asparagus. Photo: Sally Greer
Rack of Lamb with Grilled Haloumi & Asparagus

Prep time: 20-25 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves 2-3

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

To serve
Lemon zest

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.

The Game Chef by Angelo Georgalli, Beatnik Publishing, RRP $44.99, beatnikshop.com

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