This roast dish will have you crying out for sunny days.
“A roast can feel like a rather heavy, wintery prospect for a summer day, but a roast leg of lamb somehow always feels summery to me – whereas the shoulder is more suited for winter, I think,” says TV presenter Kate Humble, who has written her first cookbook, which is guided by the seasons.
“The roast lamb here, accompanied as it is with pickings from the veg patch, fragrant oregano and tangy feta, is the centrepiece for a plate of food that is full of sunny flavours and won’t leave you with that feeling of sleepy-eyed lethargy that comes after a hefty meal,” says Kate.
Kate Humble’s roast lamb with garden veg, oregano and feta
For the lamb:
- 1 leg of lamb, about 2kg
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- Olive oil
- A handful of rosemary and thyme sprigs
- A generous glass of red wine
- For the vegetables:
- 400g broad beans in their pods, or 200g frozen broad beans
- 300g French beans
- 100g peas (fresh or frozen)
- Leaves from 3 sprigs of oregano
- Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half
- Olive oil
- 50g feta
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6. Make sure your lamb is at room temperature before you cook it, so take it out of the fridge 20 minutes or so beforehand. With a knife, make small, deep cuts all over the leg of lamb and push a slice of garlic into each one. Rub over some olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
- Put the rosemary and thyme sprigs in the bottom of a roasting tin and place the lamb on top. Put in the oven and cook for about one hour and 10 minutes if you want your lamb to be pink (it is so much nicer when it is) or for longer if you want it cooked through. Remove from the oven, put the lamb on a board and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before you carve it.
- Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs from the tin and put it over a high heat on the hob. Add the wine to the juices and let it bubble for a moment or two to form a thin but tasty gravy. Pour into a jug and keep warm.
- Cook the broad beans (shelled, if fresh) in boiling water for about two minutes. Drain and tip them into a bowl of cold water. Slip off the skins to reveal the bright emerald green beneath. This is, I admit, a bit of a faff, and you don’t have to do it, but they taste so much nicer without the skins. Set aside. Cook the peas briefly in boiling water, drain and set aside. Trim the tails off the French beans and steam or plunge into boiling water and cook until they are al dente. Drain and put in a bowl together with the broad beans and the peas.
- Finely chop the oregano leaves and add all but a few (saved for garnish) to the vegetables. Add the lemon zest and then drizzle over a bit of olive oil to make the vegetables glossy, but not swimming in it. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and mix gently before tipping into a serving bowl. Crumble over the feta and scatter with the remaining oregano leaves. Carve the lamb, pour the gravy over the slices and serve the vegetables alongside.
Home Cooked: Recipes From The Farm by Kate Humble is published by Gaia, priced £25. Photography by Andrew Montgomery. Available now.