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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shaved Asparagus Salad and Grilled Rack of Lamb



Its the beginning of October which brings to mind green leaves turning golden and amber, warm apple pie and colorful scarves to keep one warm. Well, its currently low-mid 70's in sunny San Diego. Not quite nippy weather that calls for cocoa and scarves ehh? On a recent warm evening perusing our fridge for a dinner idea... I spotted asparagus and rack of lamb. When we do food shopping we tend to buy things that appeal to us when we see it and not necessarily shop for a recipe. Thus the oh... we have asparagus and rack of lamb in the fridge so lets figure out what we'll do with it tonight. So we decided to make shaved asparagus salad and grilled rack of lamb.

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Ingredients
  • ~ 1lb of asparagus
  • 2-3 scallion stalks
  • ~ 1/4 cup toasted marcona almonds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • shaved Parmesan cheese
Instructions
    1. Clean and chop off the woody ends of your asparagus.
    2. Starting from stalk end of asparagus, shave off ribbons of asparagus with a vegetable peeler. Try to use a peeler in which the blade is flush (or close to flush) with the work surface when you hold the peeler against it. You'll find that you can shave much more of the asparagus with such a peeler.
    3. Finely slice scallions.
    4. Roughly chop the toasted marcona almonds. We adore marcona almonds for the sweeter flavor and more delicate texture.
    5. Toss the shaved asparagus, sliced scallions and chopping marcona almonds with juice of 1 lemon (adjust to your acidity preference), a few dashes of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Finish the salad with shavings of Parmesan cheese.
    {clockwise: our favorite olive oil, shaved asparagus and marcona almonds}


    Grilled Rack of Lamb

    Rack of lamb is always a favorite treat of ours for dinner. We find that lamb can be a polarizing meat... one loves or hates. Surprisingly, its for the same reasons: its slightly gamy, rich and fatty. Fat is flavor so if you're in the "hate lamb" camp then try trimming off some of the fat and give it a try again. I find that its an elegant alternative to the usual steak, fish or poultry one might have for dinner. So why deprive yourself of an option which is rather easy to prepare and easy to wow your dinner guest?

    EHK is the meat guru of our duo so he's usually in charge of handling the protein portions of our meal. He rubbed the rack with some olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and fresh chopped rosemary. Heated up half the gas grill to high. Seared one side of the rack on the hot side of the grill for 3 minutes then moved to the "cool" side for 5 minutes then flip and repeat process with other side of meat. Of course you can adjust your cooking time for your desired crustiness and doness. We just prefer our meat on the rare side. Dinner is served!

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