Roasted lamb, pickled squash and turnips with a chilli dressing

Strips of juicy lamb in a salad of nuts, leaves, and tangy pickles with a sweet chilli-jam dressing.


For the pickled squash and turnips
  • 220ml/8fl oz white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch baby turnips, thinly sliced
  • ½ butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
For the chilli dressing
  • 2 red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 8 lime leaves
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 25g/1oz fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, left whole
  • 2 small shallots, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 50ml/2fl oz dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 3 limes, juice and zest
  • 150g/5½oz caster sugar
For the fillet of lamb
  • 2 whole lamb loins, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cashew nut salad
  • 150g/5½oz cashew nuts, toasted
  • 25g/1oz mitzuna leaves
  • 50g/1¾oz baby spinach
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed

Preparation method

  1. For the pickled vegetables, place the white wine vinegar, sugar and salt, and 110ml/3½fl oz water in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved.

  2. Put the vegetables in a bowl and pour over the pickling liquor. Set aside for 10 minutes then drain.

  3. For the chilli dressing, blend all the ingredients, except the caster sugar, to a smooth purée in a food processor.

  4. Heat the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat until it forms a golden-brown caramel (CAUTION: boiling sugar is extremely hot. Handle very carefully. Use a deep pan to avoid bubbling over.). Do not stir. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

  5. Pour in the puréed chilli jam mixture and stir well. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until sticky and jam-like. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  6. For the fillet of lamb, preheat the oven 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  7. Heat a large oven-proof frying pan and add the oil. Once hot, add the lamb, season with salt and pepper and cook until coloured on all sides. Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes (or longer if you prefer your meat well-cooked).

  8. Remove from the oven when cooked and allow to rest for five minutes. Cut into strips.

  9. To serve mix the nuts, leaves and herbs in a large bowl and add the lamb and pickles. Dress the salad with the chilli dressing.

Required techniques

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 2-4

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