Mediterranean Salad

This is more than a salad, it’s multiple layers of Mediterranean goodness. The salad consists of arugula, mixed greens, lamb, feta, and a tzatziki style dressing.  I serve this salad with scalloped sweet potatoes with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. This may seem a little odd to you, but these flavors pair together beautifully. There are many steps to this salad, but it’s not really a long process.

Lamb:

I recommend lamb loin chops, in my opinion these are the best for grilling. You want to avoid a cut that is too fatty, or any cut that is meant to be braised (such as shoulder) You will need about 1/2 lb per person.

Lamb marinade:

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

½ cup of greek yogurt (or plain if you don’t have access to greek yogurt)

1 sprig of fresh dill, chopped (or a pinch of dry)

¼ c olive oil

2 tsp cumin

Juice from ½ of a lemon

Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together and marinate lamb for at least 1 hour.

Scalloped Potatoes:

2 large sweet potatoes

1 Large Russet potatoes

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and pepper

¾ of half and half or cream

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. This is a perfect use for a mandolin, but I don’t have one, so I just use a knife and patience.  Mix the cinnamon and nutmeg together in a small dish. In a 9X9 square baking dish place a layer of sweet potatoes, slightly overlapping.  Sprinkle half of the spice mixture evenly over the potatoes, sprinkle lightly with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Next, layer on the russet potatoes and sprinkle on the remainder of the spice mix, salt and pepper.  Finish with a layer of sweet potatoes. Pour the cream evenly over the potatoes and cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Tzatziki:

1 cucumber  peeled, seeded and chopped

1 Tbs chopped fresh dill

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

2 cups greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

I usually chop my cucumbers for tzatziki sauce because I like the texture. However, you could also grate the cucumbers for a smoother sauce.  This sauce needs to be made at least an hour before eating to allow the flavors to merry. It also can be keep for a week in the fridge.

Salad:

Equal amounts of arugula and mixed greens, about 1 ½ cups each

½ cup of crumbled feta

Drizzle of olive oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Assembly:

Grill the lamb to medium rare (or more if you insist) LET IT REST. Resting is important for meat, it allows the juices to redistribute which makes it juicy and delicious. Let the meat rest for about 10 mins and then cut into thin strips. Toss the lamb with the salad. This will slightly melt the feta (mmm, yum).

To plate this dish, place a square of the scalloped potatoes on the plate. Use tongs to place a large helping of salad onto the plate, top this with a drizzle of the tzatziki sauce.  Enjoy!

On a side note, the following day i had left over scalloped potatoes, so i warmed them and topped them with a handful of arugula and a poached egg. It was delightful.

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Filed under Meat, Recipes

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