by José Pizarro from The Spanish Home Kitchen (Hardie Grant)
Photography: Emma Lee
This is a favourite dish of my mum’s – in fact, everyone at home loves it.
Normally, you would just cook the cutlets on the grill or barbecue, but here I’ve fried them for a lovely, crispy finish.
These tasty cutlets are great for a picnic as they taste just as good cold, dipped in mayonnaise. We’ve used baby lamb here; if you use older lamb, you might prefer to trim off some of the fat. But, as I always say, in the fat is the flavour!
TAKES 40 MINUTES, PLUS OVERNIGHT MARINATING
2 x 6-rib French trimmed racks of spring lamb, sliced into cutlets (chops)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 75 ml (2½ fl oz/5 tablespoons) for frying
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 lemon thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, bashed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
2 handfuls of plain (all-purpose) flour
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
LEMON COURGETTE SALAD
4 courgettes (zucchini), thinly sliced lengthways
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon dried chilli (hot pepper) flakes
200 g (7 oz) freshly shelled peas (or frozen)
200 g (7 oz) freshly shelled broad (fava) beans (or frozen)
juice of 1 lemon
handful mint leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
100 g (3½ oz) fresh cows’ cheese, or you can use crumbled feta or crumbled goats’ cheese
Arrange the lamb cutlets in a large dish. In a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the lemon zest and juice, lemon thyme, garlic and coriander seeds. Pour
this mixture over the lamb and season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.
The next day, heat the 75 ml (2½ fl oz/5 tablespoons) oil in a large pan over a high heat until it shimmers. Remove the lamb from the marinade. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season, and have the beaten eggs ready in a second bowl. Working in batches, dip the cutlets in the seasoned flour and then the egg, and then place them straight into the
hot oil. Fry for 2–3 minutes, then turn and fry on the other side until golden brown. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm while you fry the remaining cutlets.
Meanwhile, make the salad. Toss the courgettes (zucchini) in a large bowl with the oil and chilli (hot pepper) flakes. Place a griddle pan over a high heat and sear the courgette slices on both sides, then tip into a serving bowl. Blanch the peas and broad (fava) beans in boiling water for 2–3 minutes, then drain and add to the serving bowl, along with the rest of the salad ingredients. Toss to combine, then season and serve with the golden lamb cutlets.