Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Garden Fresh Root Veggies with Lamb

When I signed off last week, I mentioned I was about to prepare another delicious feast from Barbara's garden to accompany Australian lamb, which my friend, Catherine (above), offered to contribute to the meal.

Friday was my second to last evening at the urban farm, which means this week I'm writing at a distance, using the photos taken mostly by Julie (in orange top below) as a reminder of the wonderful, late-summer week spent in this verdant oasis just east of the city of Boulder in Colorado.

Prior to dinner, I and my three friends pottered around the property, admiring the garden, playing with the dogs, feeding the goats and collecting the day's eggs from the chicken coop. The 23 chickens laid about 18 eggs a day, most of which I boxed up for Barbara's customers, though there was always some left over for personal consumption.

For last Friday night's meal, there were no eggs involved. And because we were having lamb, I decided to serve root vegetables, plus squash, using herbs again to add flavor to each side dish

I chose root vegetables to go with the lamb in part because it's nearing the end of summer and thus these vegetables are ripe for picking in Barbara's garden, and because they're a great accompaniment to lamb.

The earthy flavors of root veggies compliment the slightly gamey flavor of lamb.

The lamb chops Catherine bought along for our dinner were very thick. Without the time to marinade them, I simply plunged the tip of a knife into the center of each chop and shoving a sliver of garlic and a spring of rosemary into each, and then I seasoned and drizzled them with a little olive oil.

I had Cindy (in blue skirt above), who is more adept than I at lighting a gas barbie, put the chops onto a medium flame until they browned, at which point she turned the flame to low.

At around the 15 min mark, she turned the flame off completely. We left the chops there for another 15 mins or so, gently cooking until they were medium done or pinkish on the inside.

Meanwhile, I finished cooking the vegetable sides:
  1. caramelized shallots
  2. boiled beets tossed in kumquat marmalade and chopped chives
  3. buttered baby carrots with parsley, and
  4. pan-fried baby squash with blossoms intact.
Check back each day this week for simple, method-recipes detailing my approach to cooking each of these sides and for more stories about my week on Barbara's urban farm.

Toward the end of this week, I'll feature a gorgeous photo Julie took of the dessert platter I prepared for the girls, and which we ate sitting around a blazing camp-style fire lit to keep the wretched mozzies at bay.

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