Toula’s Spring Lamb
Though this dish’s name might make you think otherwise, Toula’s Spring Lamb is simply bursting with green power – plentiful spinach, spring onions, dill, mint and parsley, enhanced by a tomato and lamb-infused gravy and accompanied by melt-in-your-mouth slow-roasted lamb. The next time anyone says, ‘Eat your greens!’ make Toula’s Spring Lamb and get your daily dose of green goodness and more!
For the lamb
1.2 kg lamb shoulder on the bone, cut into 6 large pieces
2 teaspoons salt
olive oil extra virgin
For the greens
2 bunches spinach
2 bunches spring onions
1 bunch dill
1 bunch mint
1 bunch parsley
1½ cups tomato puree
1 tablespoon tomato paste heaped
1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
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Prepare the lamb
Preheat oven to 160ºC.
Place the lamb shoulder pieces in a large baking dish and season all over with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. After one hour of roasting, turn over the lamb pieces and roast, again covered, for another hour.
Prepare the greens
The greens need to be cooked and hot when the lamb comes out of the oven, so start preparing them once you have turned the lamb pieces over, after the first hour of roasting.
Cut approximately 1cm above the spinach roots and keep the spinach leaves and stalks. Remove and discard any damaged spinach leaves or stalks. Chop the spinach into 5cm lengths. Wash the spinach pieces gently but thoroughly, removing all traces of dirt. Set aside.
Remove the coarse stalks from the dill, mint and parsley, leaving the leaves and tender stalks. Wash the leaves and tender stalks gently but thoroughly, removing all traces of dirt. Set aside.
Trim the spring onions on the top and bottom. Remove the lower outer leaves and discard. Chop the spring onions into 5cm lengths.
Wash the spring onion pieces gently but thoroughly, removing all traces of dirt. Place them in a large pan.
Place the pan containing the spring onions on a medium flame. Add the olive oil and sauté the spring onions for a few minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until it ‘just’ wilts. Combine and mix the tomato puree and tomato paste and gently mix through the greens.
Season with salt and cracked pepper and stir through. Add all the dill, mint, parsley leaves and tender stalks and stir through. Cook all the greens together for about 5-10 minutes more. Switch off the flame.
Combine the lamb and the greens
After two hours of roasting, remove the baking dish containing the lamb from the oven. Transfer the lamb shoulder pieces and their drippings to the pan containing the greens. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20 – 30 minutes at 180ºC.
Serve the spring lamb
Spring lamb is best served warm, with feta cheese and crusty bread to sop up the delicious juices.