WEEKEND RECIPE: Lamb lollipops served with pea pesto

Winter entertaining just got easier! A dish made for sharing – lamb lollipops and pea pesto served with a glass of Two Oceans Shiraz. You can cook the lamb lollipops in a griddle pan or over the braai as a great starter snack. The pea pesto provides a quick and affordable burst of flavour for the lamb. It also works great with tapas and fish dishes. So keep that in mind if you’re thinking of extending your snack selection.

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The Two Oceans Shiraz with its vibrant, complex bouquet of red berries, cloves, spice, hints of white pepper and subtle vanilla will bring out the juiciness of the meat. It is also a treat with steak and seared tuna.
Lamb lollipops served with pea pesto
Paired with: Two Oceans Shiraz
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: +- 12-16 minutes

Lamb lollies
6 x 100g lamb steaks or chump chops with bone and excess sinew removed
6 medium wooden skewers soaked in water for 15 minutes
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Pea pesto
3 cups of frozen peas, blanched*
100g feta cheese
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup (60ml) of mint leaves
¼ cup (60ml) of basil leaves
Handful of chives
Juice of 1 small lemon
¼ cup (60ml) of olive oil
1 small red onion thinly sliced and dressed in 2 tsp (10ml) white wine vinegar
A handful of blanched peas
Lemon zest

Roll the lamb into rounds and skewer them to create the lollipops. In a shallow dish, combine the lemon juice and zest, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then add the lamb lollies and coat them well with the mixture. Season some more. Allow to marinate at room temperature while preparing the pesto and garnishes.

Place the blanched peas, feta, garlic, herbs and lemon in a food processor and pulse until it forms a chunky pesto. Slowly add the oil until it reaches the desired consistency. Season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat a griddle pan until smoking hot, then reduce to a moderate heat and grill the lamb for 6 to 8 minutes per side (for medium rare to medium) or until cooked to your liking. Make sure all the fat is rendered.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy your lamb lollies with a side of pea pesto and garnish with slices of lightly pickled red onion, a few peas, lemon zest and a glass of Two Oceans Shiraz.

*Blanch: To cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until al dente then to refresh in ice cold water.

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