Anti dementia - food to feed your brain!
I was delighted to stumble across this article (link below) in The Sunday Times. Even with its slightly disturbing title, I read on and was fascinated by the conclusions of the study. Not the least of which was that lamb in moderation is a preventative for dementia! (Bacon not so much, so sorry to all the pork producers.) Finally, a study that makes sense to me, where lamb can be a hero combined with lots of lovely fresh, delicious ingredients Plenty of other great foods were listed as well and so I was motivated to do a recipe that incorporated some of my favourites, with brain saving just an added extra.
If you're not growing your own herbs the best advice I can offer you is to include bunches of parsley, mint, basil and even coriander in your weekly shop. Even those semi-dried ones from Woolies are great, and they freeze too. Grab a few packets of blanched almonds, hazelnuts and pine nuts as well, and I assure you they won't go to waste. At the end of the week whatever is leftover can be combined to make a salsa verde to serve with veg, lamb or anything that takes your fancy. The salad recipe below can be easily adapted to suit what you have available. Don't stress if you don't have all the ingredients, this is just what I had and it came together beautifully. I would have loved to add some fennel but didn't have any. We were cut off with flooding so I used tinned or frozen beans, peas, beets and artichokes. Fresh asparagus and herbs are a must though!
BBQ'd leg of lamb with a goats cheese & broad bean salad
Boned & butterflied leg of lamb
juice and zest of 1 lemon, squeezed
dash of olive oil (or fave nut oil)
2 tbsp Singing Magpie sticky quince syrup
few sprigs fresh thyme (Dried is suitable)
500gm broad beans (fresh or frozen)
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, and sliced lengthways
450gm can whole diced beetroot, drained
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
handful of blanched hazelnuts
80gm Meredith Dairy marinated goats cheese
HAZELNUT OIL DRESSING
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon hazelnut oil
1 teaspoon honey
METHOD Mix marinade ingredients together, coat lamb and leave covered in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
BBQ lamb at a moderate heat setting for approx 50 minutes turning half way through. When finished, cover in foil and set aside for at least 10 minutes to rest. This allows the meat to relax and is crucial for tenderness. While the meat is cooking, prepare the salad.
Cook broad beans and peas in a large saucepan of boiling water about 3 minutes or until tender, drain; rinse under cold water, drain. Boil, steam or microwave asparagus until almost tender, drain; rinse under cold water, drain.
Drain beets and sit on paper towel to soak excess juice. Do the same with artichoke hearts and chop into bite-size chunks.
To make hazelnut oil dressing, place ingredients in a screw-top jar; shake well. Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently to combine. Finish salad by topping with the hazelnuts and goat's cheese then drizzle with dressing.
Slice the rested lamb and serve.