3garlic cloves, coarsely chopped2 tspfennel seeds2 tspdried mint1 tspdried chilli flakesFinelygrated rind of 2 lemons, juice of 175 mlolive oil1.5 kglamb rib racks (about 2)Pea and mint salad120 gmsnowpeas, trimmed, cut into julienne150 gmsugar snap peas, trimmed180 gmpodded peas (about 350gm unpodded)1 cup(loosely packed) mint50 gmcrème fraîcheJuiceof 1 lemon, or to taste½ garlic clove, finely chopped70 mlolive oil2baby fennel bulbs, thinly shaved on a mandolin and placed in acidulated iced water1 cup(loosely packed) pea tendrils (optional)
Pound garlic, fennel seeds, mint, chilli, lemon rind and 1 tsp sea salt in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Stir in oil and juice, and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Place ribs in a non-reactive container, pour marinade over, rub in to coat well, cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
Preheat oven to 150C. Place ribs on a wire rack in a large roasting pan and roast until very tender (1½-2 hours), then keep warm.
For pea and mint salad, blanch peas separately until bright green (1 minute for snowpeas; 1-2 minutes for sugar snap peas; 2-3 minutes for peas) and refresh. Combine in a bowl with mint and refrigerate until required. Whisk crème fraîche, lemon juice, garlic and oil in a bowl, season to taste and set aside. Just before serving, drain fennel, add to peas, add tendrils and half the dressing and toss to combine.
Heat a char-grill pan over high heat. Grill lamb, turning occasionally, until charred (3-4 minutes), cut into ribs and serve with pea and mint salad and remaining dressing for drizzling.
This recipe is from the February 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.