Lamb, aubergine and watercress salad

This is the salad to throw together if you've got meat lovers for dinner. Looks impressive, tastes delicious, but easy to create.

Recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients
600g lamb loin, trimmed of fat and skin
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 small aubergines, cut into 1.5cm slices

For the balsamic vinaigrette
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
A pinch of caster sugar
125ml olive oil
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs

For the watercress salad
100g watercress, stems removed
25g fresh coriander, leaves picked
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into strips
1 red onion, halved and sliced
Rind of half a salted lemon or preserved lemon, cut into strips

Method
• Preheat the oven to 220˚C.
• Brush the lamb with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and seal the lamb on all sides until browned. Transfer the lamb to a baking tray and roast for six to eight minutes for medium. Set aside to rest for five minutes before slicing.
• Preheat an overhead grill or ridged cast-iron grill to a high heat. Lightly brush the aubergine with olive oil and cook for five to eight minutes, or until tender and browned. Keep warm.
• Meanwhile, to make the balsamic vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• To make the salad, combine the watercress, coriander, chilli, onion and lemon rind. Add enough balsamic vinaigrette to moisten it.
• To serve, place two to three slices of aubergine on each serving plate. Slice the lamb loin into discs, about 5mm thick. Arrange the salad over the aubergine, and the lamb on top. Finish with a further light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

Tip from the top

‘This salad is great: charred aubergine (which we Brits have come to love) served warm with roast loin of lamb. I put watercress and coriander in the salad with red onions, but spring onions will work well, too. The lamb comes from the best end, which has been removed from the bone and trimmed down.’

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