Crown roasts of lamb are often stuffed with wild rice and served at Christmas, but I thought that in warmer weather a Bright Green Tabouleh stuffing, festooned with fresh mint, would be perfect. The parsley-laden tabouleh, the mint, and the watercress bring a springtime freshness to this cold~weather standard.
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Season the crown roast with the thyme and with generous amounts of salt and pepper, pressing the seasonings into the meat. Cover the tips of the bones with aluminum foil to prevent burning, and place the roast in a shallow roasting pan.
3. Roast for 30 minutes for perfectly cooked medium-rare meat. If you like your lamb cooked to medium, add another 5 minutes of cooking time.
4. Place the roast on a decorative round serving platter, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then fill the center with the tabouleh, and garnish the tabouleh with a full, leafy mint sprig. Arrange the watercress and the remaining mint sprigs around the roast.
5. To serve, spoon the tabouleh from the center of the roast onto plates; then carve the roast between the bones into chops.
To french the rib bones of a rack of lamb, place the rack, fat side (meat side) up, on a flat surface. Using a very sharp knife (a boning knife works well), make a cut across the rack, down to the bone, about 2 inches from the tip of the ribs. From this point, cut out all the meat and fat from between the ends of the bones; then scrape them clean. If you are making a crown roast, once the bones are cleaned, stand the racks up meat facing in and tie the end-chops together with kitchen string.
Makes 6 cups; Serves 8 to 10
I love the toothy texture of bulgur when it is sparked with lemon juice and tossed with the best of summer's farm stand tomatoes and crispy cucumbers, and for a mild onion flavor, scallions. I always go overboard with mint and parsley. I hope you will too. A tabouleh salad makes a good companion to Crown Roast of Lamb (above) and Lemon Herb-Roasted Chicken Drumsticks (page 149 of the book).
1. Combine the bulgur wheat, boiling water, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Fluff the bulgur mixture with a fork. Add the parsley, mint, scallions, garlic, and salt and pepper. Toss well with the fork. Add the tomatoes and cucumbers, and toss again. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
3. Let the salad stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
4. Garnish the salad with the mint sprig, and serve at room temperature.
This page created February 2009
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