This is a sponsored post to help promote the European #LambTryItLoveIt campaign in conjunction with Bord Bia to highlight the benefits of cooking with European lamb. For more recipe inspiration, follow @TryLamb on Facebook and Instagram. All opinions, photos and the recipe itself are my own though.
Here we go, my second recipe for the Lamb, Try It, Love It campaign! I previously made lamb meatballs with flavoured rice but this time I’ve gone for a fantastic crostini that you can either serve for lunch, brunch or as an appetiser/canapé. A creamy layer of avocado spread on top of crispy garlic slices of ciabatta, juicy grilled vine tomatoes and soft pieces of mozzarella, topped off with flavourful spiced lamb leg steak slices: yum!
I really hope this campaign has inspired you to give lamb a try if you’ve never tried it before, or to get creative with European lamb if you were already a fan. I’ve always loved lamb, it’s such a rich flavour and versatile ingredient to cook with and it’s packed with great health benefits. As it’s a red meat, it’s higher in iron than chicken or fish for example. It’s also rich in high-quality protein and contains many vitamins and minerals (like B12 for example). Because of this, regularly eating lamb (within moderation of course, as with anything in life) may promote muscle growth/maintenance/performance and helps prevent anemia.
Although lamb is commonly eaten around Easter, it’s actually even tastier now, in late Summer/early Autumn! The meat has now matured and will be so much richer in flavour than Easter lamb, so what are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking!
- 300g lamb leg steaks
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 ciabatta loaf or French baguette
- 2 ripe medium avocado's
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 lime
- handful of freshly chopped parsley
- 125g drained mini mozzarella (or 245g not drained)
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 250g cherry tomatoes on the vine
- salt and black pepper
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
In a bowl mix 4 tablespoons of olive oil, cayenne, cumin, thyme and a dash of black pepper. Slice the lamb leg steaks into thin strips and add to the marinade. Stir the lamp a good few times so that it's well coated, then cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil with balsamic vinegar to an oven tray. Make a small cross at the bottom of your vine tomatoes and add them to the tray. Pop in the oven at 200°C/Gas 6 for 15 minutes. Once done, let them cool down a bit and slice them in half.
Now slice your bread into 8 equal pieces (diagonally) and flatten the cloves of garlic with the back of a large knife. Heat up olive oil in a grill pan and add one clove of garlic. As we won't be able to fit all the bread in the one go, I'm keeping one of the cloves for the next batch. Remove the garlic once it starts to brown, then add half of your pieces of bread. Once the first half is removed, add a bit of new olive oil along with a fresh clove of garlic and repeat the steps above. You can serve the bread cold, but I prefer it when it's just a tiny bit warm (just warm enough to hold). To do so, I just placed them in an oven at low temperature (100-120°C/Gas ½) while cooking the lamb).
Scoop out the flesh from the avocado with a fork, you can throw out the skin but don't throw away the pit just yet. Add in juice of half a lime, a dash of black pepper and salt and mash really well. Now add the pits back in, they'll help keep your avocado mash fresh (the lime juice helps too though).
Set aside in the fridge until we are ready to go.
On to our final ingredient: our lovely lamb strips! Heat up a frying pan to high heat, scoop out the pieces of lamb from the marinade.
Try to remove as much of the marinade as possible, it'll help your lamb pieces brown. Too much liquid will make them boil rather than fry/grill. Don't forget to pop your bread in the oven if you'd like to serve them lukewarm, then spread avocado on top, add two cherry tomato halves and 1 mozzarella ball sliced in half on top.
Layer the pieces of lamb across and end with just a few pieces of fresh parsley and some dried chilli flakes (optional).
SPONSORED POST IN CONJUNCTION WITH BORD BIA TO HELP PROMOTE #LAMBTRYITLOVEIT, A CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTING THE BENEFITS OF COOKING WITH EUROPEAN LAMB. FOR MORE RECIPE INSPIRATION, FOLLOW @TRYLAMB ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM