Unlike most salads, this one gets better with age. Make it ahead for a picnic, reserving the oregano to toss through just before serving. Skip the lamb and add a couple of handfuls of rocket and some dollops of ricotta for a great vegetarian option. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead to marinate the lamb.
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (loosely packed) oregano, plus extra to serve
- 160 ml olive oil
- 120 ml red wine vinegar
- 1 boneless lamb shoulder (about 1.4kg)
- 1 kg (about 4 punnets) truss cherry tomatoes
- 300 gm fregola (see note)
- 1Pound thyme, anchovies, garlic and half the oregano in a mortar and pestle until a paste forms, then add 100ml oil and 60ml vinegar and stir to combine. Massage paste into lamb, place lamb in
a non-reactive container and refrigerate to marinate (at least 6 hours-overnight).
- 2Heat a char-grill pan (or coal barbecue) over low-medium heat and grill lamb, turning occasionally, until tender and cooked through (40-45 minutes). Set aside to rest (20 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C. Place tomatoes in an oven dish, drizzle with 60ml olive oil and 60ml vinegar and roast until blistered and golden (20-25 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.
- 4Cook fregola in boiling salted water until tender (12-14 minutes). Drain well, then spread on an oven tray to cool and dry slightly. Transfer to a large bowl, add tomatoes and their pan juices and remaining oregano, season to taste and toss to combine. Scatter with oregano and serve with lamb.
Note Fregola is a small Sardinian semolina pasta available from select delicatessens and grocers. If it's unavailable, substitute another small pasta. This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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