Lamb, Medjool Date, Olive, Tomato and Feta Salad

With Honey Dressing

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

Appears in

Salads

Salads

By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

  • About

This salad reminds me of the salads of Greece and Turkey. It is basically a tomato and feta salad tossed with a few extra bits and pieces, then topped with lamb, and is very quick to knock up and easy to assemble. The honey dressing is a little twist that works well with the acidity of the tomatoes and saltiness of the feta. Try to buy feta made the traditional way, from 100 per cent ewes’ milk. You’ll find it much tastier than cows’-milk feta.

You can cook the lamb in the oven, as described below, or on a barbecue. At home, I often cook it in a pan. Simply choose a heavy-bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid and add the lamb when it gets hot. Cook it on a reasonably high heat with the lid on, turning it every minute to cook it evenly. The lid traps in the heat, allows the meat to cook on the top as well as on the bottom, and it keeps the moisture in.

Ingredients

  • 800 g lamb loin, trimmed of all fat and sinew
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons runny honey
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 6 plum tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 200 g feta, cut into large chunks
  • 12 medjool dates, halved and stones removed
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • large handful of olives
  • large handful of sprouts
  • juice of 1 lemon

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas 4. Season the lamb and rub it with a tablespoon of the oil. Heat an ovenproof pan and, when ready, sear the lamb all over, then transfer to the oven and roast for 4–10 minutes. Four minutes will give you medium-rare meat and 10 will give you well done. Keep it warm on a plate in the oven, with the door ajar, while it rests for 10 minutes.

Add the honey and cider vinegar to the still-warm pan and leave it to bubble away, then pour it into a cup with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and some seasoning – this is your dressing.

Mix the tomatoes, feta, dates, spring onions, olives and the remaining oil together and leave for a minute.

Once the lamb has rested, add the sprouts and lemon juice to the salad and divide among 4 plates.

To Serve

Slice the lamb into thin pieces and lay this on top of the salad, then spoon on the dressing.