Catherine Fulvio's Easter feast
Give this classic Irish dish a Continental twist for a flavoursome family meal
Being Wicklow lamb farmers here at Ballyknocken House, we are, of course, biased towards lamb for Easter Sunday lunch. Here, I've teamed the classic lamb flavours of garlic and rosemary with a Sicilian twist of the pesto and glazed lemons. This is especially tasty when served with steamed broccoli, which takes the flavours of the pesto well.
Leg of lamb, Sicilian-style with pesto and glazed lemons
You will need
For the lamb: 1.5kg leg of lamb
5 garlic cloves, sliced into halves
10 small sprigs rosemary
2 large onions, sliced into quarters
2 carrots, roughly sliced
300ml vegetable stock
1 lemon, zest only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 small sprigs rosemary, to serve
12 pitted black olives, to serve
For the glazed lemons: 3 lemons, roughly cut into thirds
3 tbsp honey
For the dipping sauce:
2 sprigs of mint, chopped
1 jar pesto Genovese
1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
To prepare the lamb, make 10 incisions into the flesh with a sharp knife. Insert a piece of garlic into each as well as sprig of rosemary.
Place the onion quarters and carrots in to a roasting tray and the lamb on top. Pour the vegetable stock into the roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle over the lemon zest, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Allow around 1 and a half hours for the lamb to cook (it should be pink in the centre), approximately.
Baste the lamb from time to time with the lamb juices and stock from the roasting pan. When the lamb is cooked to your liking, cover with foil and "rest" for 20 minutes.
To prepare the glazed lemons, heat a large frying pan with oil, add the lemons and spoon over some honey. Sauté until caramelised and golden and set aside. Be careful with this process - they can burn quite quickly so keep an eye on them.
To prepare the dipping sauce, mix the chopped mint with the pesto and the lemon juice. If the mix is too thick, loosen with some extra virgin olive oil.
To serve, place the leg of lamb on a warm serving platter, add the dipping sauce. Arrange the glazed lemons on the lamb, sprigs of rosemary and black olives. Serve with rosemary roast potato wedges.
Italian foodie fans should head to Catherine Fulvio’s Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in County Wicklow, where regional dishes and baked goodies from Sicily to Tuscany are just some of the hands-on cookery classes running throughout late spring and summer. If you fancy learning how to make your own Amaretto truffle torte or homemade pasta, pizzas and even Limoncello, visit ballyknocken.ie or phone (0404) 44627 for more information. Accommodation is also available in Catherine’s four-star farmhouse. Classes are €125 and B&B is from €59.