Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aromatic Lamb over Lentils with Curried Turnips

This is a perfect dinner for a cold, blustery day. It's warm and filling and the spices envelope your kitchen with wonderful smells. The rich lamb is balanced with healthy lentils and the turnips are given some personality with the curry.

  • Lamb chops
  • Green lentils
  • 1 large turnip (I prefer the larger, greenish variety as opposed to the small purple ones)
  • Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cumin, yellow curry powder, thyme or herbs de provence blend
For Lentils:
  • Rinse and drains lentils. Put in saucepan covered with two inches of water and a dash of salt.
  • Bring water to a boil and simmer for about twenty minutes. Lentils should be tender all the way through but not mushy.
  • Season to taste with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of cumin, pepper, and salt. Stir in torn parsley.
For Lamb:
  • Rub surfaces of lamb chops with salt, pepper, and a generous amount of cumin and herbs.
  • Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the pan with minced garlic.
  • When the oil is hot, place the lamb chops in the pan.
  • Brown on each side, ideally flipping only once. I used thin lamb chops so they didn't take long. They should be pale pink in the middle when done, not very rare.
For Turnips:
  • Peel and cut up the turnip. It's easier if you halve it first to give you a flat surface to stabilize it. It's ok if some peel remains. Cut into french fry shapes or little squares.
  • Sprinkle generously with curry powder and a dash of salt.
  • I like cooking the turnip in the pan the lamb chops were cooked in. It adds flavor, creates one less dirty pan, and can speed things along. If you do this, precook the turnips in the microwave a bit so it won't take as long (and your lamb won't get cold).
  • Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and get it nice and hot (but not smoking!).
  • Add seasoned turnips, stirring and turning as they start to brown. They should be completely tender and ideally a bit crispy when they are done.
This makes at least two large servings, and I promise it isn't as complicated as it sounds! Enjoy!
- Rori

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