For meat lovers, Lamb Cutlets with salty grilled Haloumi cheese, Eggplant and Tomato Cucumber Salad. French-trimmed cutlets not only look neat and beautiful but are also easy to hold and nibble. This dish is a staple of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and has a simple but yet profound flavor profile; the gamy lamb meat and eggplant slices, both charred to perfection on the grill work wonderfully together. Brighten the dish with some parsley and tomato-cucumber salad for acidity. To finish, a splash of spicy extra-virgin olive oil and a delicious aged balsamic vinegar with a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pair it with a red wine from France’s Rhône Valley with wonderful notes of pepper and herbs de Provence to complement this flavors of the meat.
Ingredients: Italian eggplant, Haloumi cheese, lamb cutlets, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, Italian parsley, aged balsamic vinegar, coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil.
French-trimmed lamb cutlets.
Cut three Italian eggplants into ½ inch slices. Brush with olive oil and set aside.
The Greek’s unripened brined cheese Haloumi has a wonderful mild saltiness to it and a semi-hard texture. This cheese has a high melting point which makes it ideal for grilling. Cut the block into ½ inch slices, brush them with some olive oil, season with freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
Cut the tomatoes and cucumber into slices and set them aside.
If served family style, arrange all the vegetables on one big platter, or this dish can also be divided into individually plated portions.
Right before grilling, season generously the eggplant slices with coarse sea salt and black pepper.
Grill the eggplant slices for four-five minutes, until soft and have nice visible grilled marks.
Pat dry the lamb cutlets with the paper towel. Brush them with the olive oil, season very generously with salt and freshly ground back pepper.
Grill the cutlets, depending on their thickness, for three-four minutes on each side for medium rare.
Brush the Haloumi slices with olive oil and cook for one minute on each side until you see the grilled marks. Set aside and keep warm.
To serve, place Haloumi cheese and eggplant on each plate, top them with tomato-cucumber salad and serve with two or three lamb cutlets per person. Scatter some fresh parsley leaves and finish the dish with a light drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
Lamb Cutlets with Haloumi, Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Cucumber Salad
recipe detailsServes 4
- 3 small Italian eggplants, cut into ½ inch slices
- 200g Haloumi cheese
- 12 lamb cutlets, French-trimmed
- 2 medium sized red and yellow heirloom tomatoes
- 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- English cucumber
- Flat-leaf Italian parsley
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
Wine Pairing Domaine Courbis Saint-Joseph, Rhône, France 2005
Recipe is credit of Donna Hay magazine, issue 65, p. 53, modified to my liking.