Monday, October 27, 2008

Lamb with Pomegranate Salsa Verde

....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.


Dee said...

I love unusual flavours, and this is just perfect in my book.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Yum, that looks festive! It's perfect for X-mas.

Cakespy said...

This is just about the sexiest salsa I've ever seen. I love pomegranate, but never would have thought to have used it this way--but now I wanna!

MrOrph said...

Nicely done!

How'd you like extracting the seeds? I've had my share of fun working with them.

I like this combination of flavors.

Manger La Ville said...

For extracting the seed you can do it in a bowl with water, that way all the seeds float to the top. Or Lots of practice. I can de-seed pretty quickly because of how many I eat.

Lori Lynn said...

What an extraordinary dish! Pomegranate with lamb is such a great pairing. Love the salsa concept. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

What a nice idea! i never had Pomegranate Salsa Verde before but it surely sounds good. Gotta try it!

And the lamb chops you got look just perfect as well. At what time is dinner? :-)

Kevin said...

What a great meal! I like the sound of a pomegranate salsa.

claudia said...

that is a perfect plate of food. huge wow. everything i love.

i like my lamb gamey - not the lamb they have bred to be more beef like... i want lamby lamb. is that so much to ask???

Sabina said...

Ooh! I looove pomegranates! I wonder, though, how is the texture of the pomegranate salsa? It must be a little crunchy, right? Have you ever pureed pomegranate or is that weird?

Manger La Ville said...

I think pureed pomegranate could be weird, just because of the seeds, but the juice could be used in many applications.

Christelle said...

I was looking for pomegranate recipe recently, and I must say, so far it's the one that tempts me the most.. Lucky I ended up here surfing, I'll come around again :)

Christelle said...

Fab recipe, the combination is brilliant!