Hello! After nearly a four year break, I am returning to the world of food blogging. Nectar will be a very personal look at the way one family lives, eats - and rocks out while doing the aforementioned living and eating. I will also feature recipes that I shot for RUE Magazine by my good friend and all around kitchen goddess Marissa Lippert from Nourish NYC. As I feel out the format of how I want the blog to flow and be presented, I hope you enjoy watching the creative process unfold.
To get started, I want share Marissa's amazing menu that was featured in the May/June 2011 issue of RUE. Though the menu was created for Spring, I think the cocktail and lamb are seasonless - lavender can still be found in many natural food markets. Mint is the star here and is featured in each element of the menu. And the cocktail - well I think at this point I can divulge that Marissa and I REALLY enjoyed it and sipping on them post-shoot was the best reward for a morning of hard work.
ROAST LAMB SANDWICH WITH MINT PESTO & PICKLED SHALLOTS
1/2 pound leg of lamb, bone removed
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Serve with whole wheat country or ciabatta bread.
2 cups fresh mint leaves (packed), stems discarded
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pickled Shallots and Jalapenos
1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 to 2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
Rub lamb with garlic and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
On a roasting sheet or in a roasting pan, drizzle lamb with olive oil and roast for 35-45 minutes until the temperature at the thickest part of the leg reaches 135° F for medium-rare. Remove lamb from oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.
To prepare sandwiches, spread a thin layer of pesto on bread, top with sliced lamb and garnish with pickled shallots and jalapenos.
Add mint through lemon juice in a food processor and slowly drizzle in olive oil while running. Pesto should be smooth or slightly chunky.
Pickled Shallots and Jalapenos
Bring vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns to a boil. Removed from heat, cool slightly and pour over sliced shallots and jalapeno in two separate bowls. Cool and refrigerate. May be made a day ahead.
PROSECCO SPARKLER WITH MINT, LAVENDER AND LEMON
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
3/4 teaspoon dried lavender
3 strips of lemon peel, using a vegetable peeler
1 bottle of Italian prosecco
In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, mint, lavender and lemon peel to a simmer until all sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool and strain syrup through a sieve, discard remaining mint, lavender and lemon peel. Syrup can be made ahead and refrigerated. Will last for up to 2 weeks.
Fill small glasses or champagne flutes 2/3 full with prosecco. Add in 1 to 2 teaspoons of simple syrup depending on desired sweetness. Top off with club soda and serve.
*RECIPES BY MARISSA LIPPERT*