This combination of flavours is a cracker. The ratatouille is delicious enough to enjoy by itself and versatile enough to be served with any other meat or fish. Spring lamb is so popular at the moment and most supermarkets are selling whole legs of lamb half price. Such is it’s popularity I couldn’t track any bargain joints down so I opted for the leg steaks instead. No wastage and super quick and easy to cook. I went for vegetables found in the Mediterranean diet which work so well with chargrilled meats. You can prepare the ratatouille in advance and then cook the lamb steaks just before you want to serve the dish. I made this dish for 4 people and had loads of ratatouille left so I reheated it and added it to some fresh pasta. A good grating of parmesan cheese and you have another meal.
Another thing I’m all over at the moment is Pink Himalayan salt. I think I must be the only cook to discover it 200 million years after the sea salt beds were covered in lava because people have been raving about it for years. ‘Himalayan salt contains the same 84 trace minerals and elements that are found in the human body and has less sodium per serving because the crystals or flakes take up less room than the highly processed table salt variety.’
I went for courgettes, shallots, red peppers, aubergine, butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil for my ratatouille.
I chopped them all roughly the same size and started to sweat them off in some olive oil in a pan with salt and pepper. When they were beginning to soften I transferred them into a large roasting tin and tore the fresh basil leaves over. Check for seasoning and pop in the oven 180c gas mark 4. Aim for 20 minutes because you want to add the lamb for the last 10 minutes of cooking so all the delicious meat juices go into the vegetables.
Now for the meat. Season the lamb steaks with salt and pepper and coat with a splash of olive oil. Heat a griddle pan and remember not to add any oil to the pan or it will smoke, spit and burn! I served one lamb steak per person but just go by eye depending on the size of each steak.
You want to sear the meat on both sides to keep all the flavour in and give it the char grilled markings. Once you have done this and the vegetables have been cooking for about 20 minutes and are beginning to get tender add the meat.
If you want to serve the lamb medium I would give it another 10 to 12 minutes in the oven.
Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before you carve it and keep the ratatouille warm. I served mine with a baked sweet potato, I wrapped it in tin foil with some salt and cooked it alongside the vegetables in the oven.
A super quick, tasty, lean and protein packed meal with all the goodness of the Mediterranean diet.
© Catriona Macdougall cookyourselfhappier.com, 2017