I hope this message finds you well. With the clock changing, I must admit, I already feel a pep in my step!
And with Easter comes the promise of warmer days ahead and so too with our food, as seasonal spring ingredients brighten our kitchens, so will the colourful treats such as home-made decorated cookies and the chocolate eggs. It’s a wonderful time of the year to celebrate and much needed this year. And so, Im delighted to tell you that my new TV show Catherine Celebrates Easter will air on RTE One 8.30pm this April 2nd
In the show, I meet three of Ireland’s finest artisan producers and aritsans. On the menu, I serve up mouthwatering Wild Mushrooms Risotto with Walnuts and Thyme followed by delectable Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Chimichurri served with a Pistachio, Carrot, Grape and Goat’s Cheese Salad and finally finished with a treat for all the family to get involved in charming Shortbread Easter Biscuits in shapes of Easter Bunnies and Easter Eggs. I create an Easter Basket stuffed full with tasty homemade treats, as well as using delicious products supplied by Irish artisan producers.
I’ve chosen some of my favourite foods that grace our table is here at Ballyknocken House. But I also wanted to celebrate the gift of giving so I am making a wonderful Easter basket complete with lots of delicious artisanal and local foods and the cutest home-made decorated biscuits, something to engage the children, I think!
Whilst making Catherine Celebrates Easter, I was very inspired by the most talented of food producers and crafts people and I’m delighted to showcase Wicklow Willow baskets, stunning Floral Art and delicious Intelligent Tea and Clever Honey, all of which bring wonderful colour to the show and to our kitchens,” said Catherine Fulvio of the upcoming show.
Thank you to the wonderful team at Another Avenue for making this programme and to Belling Ireland for their sponsorship
Here’s a taster from the show:
Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Chimichurri and Pistachio, Carrot, Grape and Goat’s Cheese Salad
This is a delicious way to serve lamb. If you have a larger piece of lamb, don’t forget to increase the quantities for the dry rub to match. And for the salad, leaves of your choice will work well here.
Serves 4 to 6
1.4kg leg of lamb, butterflied (ask your craft butcher to debone and butterfly for you)
For the dry rub
1 lemon, zest only
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp sea salt
For the chimichurri
40g parsley, roughly chopped
40g coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
5 medium size mint leaves
3 medium garlic cloves
2 tsp fresh oregano
3 medium shallots, peeled and halved
½ medium red chilli
80ml rapeseed oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp caster sugar
½ to ¾ tsp sea salt
For the dressing
2 small shallots, very thinly sliced
½ tsp salt
60ml lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
2 tsp za’atar
100ml rapeseed oil
For the salad
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp za’atar
60g rocket leaves
50g Lambs leaf lettuce
I head of red chicory
1 head frisee lettuce, washed and trimmed
3 small to medium carrots, peeled and ribboned with a peeler
120g seedless red and/or green grapes, sliced in half
100g local goat’s cheese, sliced
10 mint sprigs, for the salad
Rosemary sprigs, to garnish the lamb
To prepare the lamb, place all the ingredients for the rub together in a bowl, mix well. Drizzle some oil on the lamb and massage the rub onto the lamb, cover and leave in the fridge for up to 6 hours if you wish.
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Transfer the lamb into a roasting pan on a trivet of onions, garlic and carrots and roast for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and cook for a further 18 to 20 minutes if you prefer your lamb medium rare, add on a further 10 to 12 minutes longer if you like it more cooked.
Alternatively, as a general guideline to test for doneness to your preference, allow for a core temperature whilst cooking of 55/59C for medium rare and 60/66C for medium. 67/71C for well done and note that the core temperature increases whilst the lamb is resting in a warm place.
Set aside the meat, covered, to rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
To prepare the chimichurri, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse blend to give a lightly textured sauce. Check the seasoning, adding if needed. Spoon into a bowl to serve.
To prepare the dressing, place the shallots, lemon, honey and salt into a bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and za’atar. Pour in the oil in a slow steady stream while whisking. Check the seasoning, adding salt, freshly ground black pepper and honey if needed. Set aside.
To prepare the salad, heat a little oil in a frying pan, add the za’atar and the pistachios, toast lightly. Add a little salt if needed. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Place the salad leaves and carrot ribbons in a bowl, toss with some dressing. Transfer to a platter or shallow bowl. Add the grapes and sprinkle over the seasoned pistachio on top.
Spoon small amounts of the goat’s cheese all over the top. Serve the extra dressing separately.
Place the roasted butterflied lamb on a platter, garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve with the chimichurri and the salad.