Sunday, July 27, 2008

chilled chopped lamb chop salad

trussed for grooming

Just pulled together a salad from leftovers that was an amalgam of ideas from all over: julienned romain from the classic chopped salad; cold rice and sweet corn from a salade Niçoise that I had once in Amboise; a mint vinaigrette adopted from the New Basics cookbook; and a hard-boiled craving for meat on my greens.

It made me happier than I have a right to be, and I wanted to share.

chilled chopped lamb chop salad
serves 2 to 4, depending on your appetites

  • chilled grilled lamb chops, leftover from last night’s dinner with friends -- as many chops as you need to feed the hungry people at the table (I was working with 5. we bought way too many.) bet this would work with hot, freshly grilled lamb, too.

  • a vine ripened tomato, chopped

  • three stems of fresh mint, chopped

  • one head of romaine lettuce, julienned

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

  • olive oil -- 1/2 cup for the vinaigrette; a splash for the rice

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

  • 1 cup arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, frozen (or right off the cob, if you've got it)

  • salt & pepper

  • Cook the rice in rapidly boiling water, just like pasta. Toss in some salt and a little bit of olive oil. It should cook up in about 10 or 15 minutes -- sample periodically with a slotted spoon and when it’s *just* shy of al dente toss in the sweet corn.

    Continue to boil briefly until both the rice and the corn are just right. Drain in a sieve and spray it down with cold water. (I used the spritzer from the sink, tossing the rice and corn in the sieve to make sure I got it all -- you could probably also submerge it quickly in cold water and then drain.) The goal is to cool the rice down to arrest the cooking.

    Drain off the last of the water and toss the corn and rice with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper, and set it in the fridge to chill for a little while.

    Wash, spin and julienne the romaine leaves.

    Cube the leftover lamb chops. Give Charlie a few scraps. Listen to him purr.

    To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the dijon and vinegar, then whisk in the olive oil. Add a pinch of sugar, pinch of salt and a sprinkling of fresh cracked pepper. Stir in the chopped mint and tomatoes.

    Toss the cubed lamb with the vinaigrette, then toss the lamb with the lettuce, saving a handful of lamb off to the side. You’ll use this to top off the salad.

    Divide the lettuce among salad plates. Spoon the cold rice on top of the lettuce, making a small mound in the center.

    Top with the remaining lamb and sprinkle with grated parmesan. A sharp soft goat cheese would be nice too.

    Eat it up, yum.

    a suttonhoo original

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