....with wild mushroom risotto and crispy delicata squash
After reading food Art (a wonderful professional food magazine), they discussed a pomegranate salsa verde that they served with squab. But I thought it would make an equally nice pairing spooned over the top of a local Sonoma grass fed lamb. This lamb is a bit gamier but exceedingly tender. Pomegranates are a wonderful fall fruit and one of my favorites. As a little girl, I would sit naked with newspaper and paper towel all around me tearing through pomegranates. With fond pomegranate memories, I couldn’t wait to pair this fruit with something savory. The pomegranate salsa verde is a mixture of fresh seeds, pomegranate syrup, ginger and fresh herbs. Unfortunately I didn’t measure out the ingredients but simply tasted the “salsa” to find the balance between herbs and pomegranate flavors.
Pomegranate Salsa Verde
To make the pomegranate syrup:
You can buy store bought pomegranate juice and reduce it down until it forms a thick syrup.
I mashed up pomegranate seeds to extract the juice. I placed this juice in a small pot with water and sugar, to form a pomegranate infused simple syrup, and reduced it down to thick syrup, where it is nape (meaning to coat the back of a spoon.)
In another bowl place:
Fresh pomegranate seeds approx. 1 cup
Grated ginger (1/4 tsp.)
Freshly chopped thyme (1/2 tsp)
Freshly chopped parsley (1/2 tsp)
Finely minced garlic (1/2 tsp.)
A good drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour in the syrup enough to excessively coat the mixed ingredients. If it isn’t sweet enough, add a bit more. But I would veer to the less is more with the highly sweet syrup.
Lightly spoon over lamb chops.
Drizzled over lamb chops, the fruity acidity of the salsa gives a breath of freshness to the earthy dish of wild mushroom risotto, lamb and roasted squash. For the crispy roasted squash, I used a delicata prepared in the following manner:
Cut the delicata squash in half, de-seed and make ¼ -1/2 inch wide Half moon slices.
Place on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Put the oven to 425, (if it seems as if it was cooking to fast, turn down the temperature.) You will get an ultra crispy skin and a soft luxourious squash bite.
As for the wild mushroom risotto, follow any risotto recipe you love, but add coarsely chopped mushrooms (chanterelle, morels, shitake, brown, oyster…whatever you would like, but choose three) near the beginning of cooking. Even though this might discolor the mushrooms, it gives the risotto a fuller mushroom flavor without having to make mushroom stock.