Pesto, Prosciutto, and Pesto Jack Cheese Lamb Roulade with Aromatic Vegetable Medley

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That title is a mouthful, I apologize, but it was an ingredient-filled dish! The main course of the boyfriend’s birthday dinner consisted of a really neat recipe by Giada. I was searching for lamb preparations that weren’t necessarily Greek (because when I think of lamb, that’s my first thought, usually) and happened upon this roulade. As prosciutto is another favourite of his (he fits well into the family in that regard, I’m the only one who isn’t crazy about it) and the fresh basil, if I couldn’t find any that was in good condition, could be substituted for some pesto, it seemed perfect.

This recipe was incredibly easy to follow! My one caveat is making sure you have kitchen twine or a twine-like substance prior to starting to assemble. That, and you may need to use some force in closing the roulade if, like me, you over-stuffed the pocket. Another plus is making friends with the butcher to get a good cut of lamb- they had no boneless loin, so he kindly suggested they take a small leg and de-bone it for me. Not wanting to waste the fat or other pieces I was trimming off- my mother taught me to conserve!- I made a stock (about 4 hours of simmering- I would have prefered to infuse it longer but had to go to sleep eventually) that I’ll probably use later in the week for some couscous (I doubt its shelf life is over a week or so).

I really do suggest this recipe if you have the time for it- there’s nothing too difficult about it. If you’re going to go with a sherry reduction for the sauce (which is my go-to sauce, anyway, so that was a nice surprise) have patience and wait it out until it’s bubbling like caramel, then spoon it over the lamb. I guarantee your patience will be worth the while! Also, to add a bit of flavour- and because I love them- I chopped in a white pearl onion while the lamb was browning, and threw in five more for the oiled baking dish to infuse the lamb a bit. And, sustainable bonus- when plating, I stored the pearls in a small container in the fridge and will re-use them later in the week for a planned vegetarian dish. Despite claiming he had barely eaten all day and was ravenous, the dish proved to be too much for one meal- making for a cutely-packaged leftover plate for dinner today when he came to visit. Cheers for leftovers! Paired with some warm rosemary bread (central market organics has a frozen one you can heat in the oven- make it as per serving suggestion with some brushed-on olive oil, sprinkling of sea salt and dried rosemary and it’s fantastic) it sent him into a food coma upon finishing :)

Lastly- I sauteed the vegetables in salt, pepper, a little coriander, and olive oil, but what really made their flavours stand out was the secret ingredient- a little less than a tablespoon of pear-infused vinegar. The sweet and salty notes made for an excellent combination!

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