Gather family and friends for a springtime feast using one of the season’s hero ingredients. Rack of lamb makes a spectacular alternative to Sunday roast.
For the marinade:
1½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp caraway seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ tsp fresh root ginger, grated
1–2 mild chillies (deseeded weight 30g)
1½ tsp ground coriander
⅛ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste
1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp granulated sugar
Few pinches of cayenne pepper (optional)
For the lamb:
2 extra-trimmed racks of lamb (approx. 800g total)
1 tsp olive oil
Mixed salad leaves (to serve)
For the aubergine dip:
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. For the marinade, toast the cumin, fennel and caraway seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes, then put them in a small food processor. Pulse until they’re crushed, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blitz until the mixture has become a smooth paste. Add cayenne pepper to taste.
2. Place each rack of lamb in a freezer bag along with one-third of the marinade. Close the bags and massage the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate for at least three hours – preferably overnight.
3. Wash the aubergines. Place each one over a high flame on a gas cooker and roast until the skins are burnt. Once blackened, place them in a plastic bag until they are completely cool.
4. Remove the lamb from the fridge, and leave it until it reaches room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and sear the lamb on all sides – about 5 minutes total for each rack. Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 8–10 minutes. Remove the tray, cover with foil and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
5. Take the aubergines out of the plastic bag and remove the blackened skins. Lightly squeeze the flesh and squeeze out any excess water. Mash the flesh with a fork, and add the remaining marinade and the lemon juice. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl.
6. Arrange a handful of salad leaves and slices of lamb on a plate. Serve warm with the aubergine dip and lemon wedges.
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