Sprouting the buckwheat requires planning but adds a beautiful texture to this salad. Once the buckwheat has sprouted, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one or two days. You’ll need to begin this recipe two days ahead.
- 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Juice and finely grated rind of 2 lemons
- 2 tsp each dried Greek oregano (see note) and mint
- 1 kg boneless rolled lamb shoulder
- 200 ml dry white wine
- 270 gm (1½ cups) buckwheat
- ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 baby fennel bulbs
- 3 cups (loosely packed) baby spinach
- ¾ cup each coarsely chopped mint, dill and flat-leaf parsley
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 100 gm Greek feta, coarsely crumbled
- 40 gm pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1For sprouted buckwheat, fennel and spinach salad, rinse buckwheat thoroughly in a sieve under cold running water, transfer to a non-reactive bowl, cover generously with cold water and soak for 2 hours. Transfer to a fine sieve, rinse well to remove all excess starch, then place over a bowl. Spread buckwheat around sides of sieve, cover with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature until sprouted (1-2 days; repeat rinsing twice a day, ensuring buckwheat is spread up sides of sieve each time). Just before serving, combine onion, garlic, lemon juice and vinegar in a large bowl, season to taste and stand until onion changes colour (3-4 minutes). Meanwhile, thinly slice fennel on a mandolin (reserve fronds) and place in iced acidulated water until crisp (2-3 minutes), then drain well and add to onion mixture. Add spinach, herbs, spring onion and oil, toss to coat, then add feta and pistachios and toss to combine.
- 2Meanwhile, combine oil, garlic, lemon juice and rind, oregano and mint in a non-reactive container, season to taste, then add lamb. Turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight, turning occasionally.
- 3Preheat oven to 120C. Remove lamb from marinade, transfer to a roasting pan, add wine and roast, basting occasionally with marinade, until tender (1½-2 hours). Slice lamb and serve warm topped with sprouted buckwheat, fennel and spinach salad.
Greek oregano, also known as rigani, is more aromatic than the dried oregano sold in supermarkets. It’s available in dried bunches from Greek delicatessens. If it’s unavailable, substitute dried oregano.
This recipe is from the March 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Young red sangiovese. Drink suggestion by Max Allen