I wasn’t quite prepared for the incredible explosion of flavour it provided. I think the secret lies in the harmonious and incredibly moreish combination of anchovies, lemon, garlic and parsley. Combine this with creamy, starchy beans, sweet caramelized earthy vegetables, and the deeply savoury, rosemary-scented chunks of lamb shoulder, and you have a plate to remember.
Finding myself with a large amount of leftover slow-cooked lamb shoulder (simply roasted, rubbed with garlic, rosemary, salt and olive oil), along with various other odds and ends in the fridge, I whipped up a very quick salad. There were canned beans, courgettes sautéed with garlic, leftover roasted fennel and onions from alongside the original lamb meal, squeaky green beans, and a very simple dressing of chopped anchovies (their saltiness is ridiculously good with lamb), lemon juice, garlic-infused olive oil and parsley. In too went the shredded lamb meat, to heat through and mingle with the other ingredients.
It looked tasty. Appetising. Next time I roast lamb, I bet I barely register the taste of the original meal: it’s this salad I’ll have in mind.
However, roasting a whole lamb shoulder to make a salad seems a little over the top. For this reason, I’ve recreated this delicious impromptu leftovers meal using fresh onions and fennel, and lamb chops. The chops take a few minutes to cook (the lamb shoulder, on the other hand, took four hours) treat them as you would a good steak. I’ve used Barnsley chops in this salad, which are double lamb chops taken from across the lamb loin, but you could use normal lamb chops or lamb cutlets, if you’re feeling extravagant. The meat is sweet and tender, complemented perfectly by the zingy yet comforting flavours of the accompanying salad. A perfect springtime treat.
here's what you'll need...
- 200g green beans, topped and tailed
- Olive or rapeseed oil, for cooking
- Salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 small bulb fennel
- 400g can butterbeans, cannellini beans or haricot beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 courgettes
- 6-8 anchovy fillets (depending on how much you like anchovies!)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2-3 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
- 3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 lamb chops (Barnsley chops, normal chops or cutlets)