Cumin may be my favorite spice, probably because I love Mexican and Indian cuisines so much, where it’s ubiquitous. This recipe caught my attention because the lamb is rubbed with cumin, and the vinaigrette contains cumin. It’s a cumin celebration!
Sang Yoon of Food and Wine, is this recipe’s author. He writes, “Lamb seasoned with cumin is very Indian, as well as Sichuan and Yunnan. But no one is Asia would serve lamb on a salad; that’s just me being Californian!” you can read about chef Sang Yoon here.
Well the salad is fabulous, the vinaigrette is wonderful, and I love lamb. So this salad was the bomb!!!
Grilled Lamb Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
One 1-pound piece boneless leg of lamb, about 3 inches thick
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for rubbing
1 tablespoons ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Freshly ground white pepper
4 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
One 6-ounce piece of jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup shredded basil, plus 4 sprigs
1 large shallot, sliced
Light a grill. Rub the lamb with oil, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cumin and season with salt and black pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, mustard and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of oil and season with salt and white pepper.
Grill the lamb over moderate heat, turning a few times, until charred and medium-rare, about 12 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a carving board; let rest for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the jicama, carrot, cucumber, shredded basil and shallots.
Add the dressing and toss well. Transfer to plates.
Thinly slice the lamb and arrange the slices on the salad.
Garnish with the cilantro and basil sprigs and serve.
What really stood out, besides the vinaigrette, was the wonderful combination of the jicama, cucumbers, basil and cilantro. It was almost like a spa salad with lamb!