Mother’s Day Lamb with Flageolet Beans, Asparagus Spears, and Olive Relish

When my husband said he wanted to surprise me with a “fancy” Mother’s Day meal, I was excited. We generally cook together, but a few times a year, he takes over the kitchen to cook an elaborate, beautiful, and delicious meal. I’ve never considered myself a lamb fan, but this is a preparation I would definitely eat again. Truly the complexity, richness, and multi-facets of this meal reflect the nature of motherhood – you invest time, effort, and care to yield the great rewards of your children.

Steamed Asparagus Spears

We tend to eat a lot more veggies than meats. There’s nothing better than simply steamed and salted asparagus spears, except perhaps a drizzle of warm vinaigrette. We made sure to include extra-large servings of these with our lamb and beans! All of these recipes come from the beautiful cookbook “A Platter of Figs” by David Tanis.

Mother’s Day Lamb with Flageolet Beans, Asparagus Spears, and Olive Relish

This is an elaborate and beautiful meal, fit for any of the best mothers you know. We enjoyed it on Mother’s Day, but it would suit any fancier evening celebration. I’ve never considered myself a lamb fan, but this is a preparation I would definitely eat again. The recipes come from the beautiful cookbook “A Platter of Figs” by David Tanis.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, dairy free
Keyword: asparagus, lamb, olives, sugar-free, wheat-free, Whole Life Challenge
Servings: 10
Calories: 734kcal

Ingredients

Lamb and Beans

  • 1 1/2 cups dried flageolet beans about 3 cups
  • 1 bunch green onion rough chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 lb lamb shoulder
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • fruity olive oil
  • 2 cups white wine dry (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley

Olive Relish

  • 1 cup oil-cured Moroccan olives pitted
  • 1 cup Nicoise olivers pitted
  • 2 tsp capers rinsed
  • 1/2 small lemon zest finely chopped
  • 1 small lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Warm Asparagus Vinaigrette

  • 4-5 lb fresh green asparagus
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Lamb and Beans

  • Rinse the dried beans well and then pour them into a large heavy pot, covered in a few inches of cold water. Add the green onion, bay leaf, and 1 thyme sprig. Bring the water to boil, and then turn the heat to low and let the beans simmer gently until they’re very tender (at least 1 hour).
  • Once the beans are tender, stir in a few teaspoons of Kosher salt into the cooking liquid and let the beans cool in this liquid. 
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Season the lamb with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Lay a few thyme and rosemary sprigs in the bottom of your roasting pan and place the lamb on top. Reserve a bit of thyme to chop for the beans.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil over the lamb and pour the white wine into the pan. Roast the lamb for 45 minutes to an hour, until it’s browned on the outside and the internal temperature reads 130 degrees F. Place the lamb onto a platter and cover it loosely to allow it to rest.
  • Scrape up any juices and little bits from the bottom of your roasting pan and pour them through a fine-meshed strainer into a small saucepan. Reheat the pain juices just before serving (skim off any surface fat before reheating).
  • Drain the beans but save their liquid, and put the in a shallow pan. Season them with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, your chopped thyme, a tablespoon of the fruity olive oil, and a cup of the bean liquid. Reheat gently.

Olive Relish

  • Put the olives, capers, lemon zest and juice, thyme, ad 1/2 cup olive oil in a food processor. If you prefer a rougher texture, use the pulse setting; for a smoother texture, grind the mixture into a paste. 

Warm Asparagus Vinaigrette

  • Prep the asparagus: break off the tough ends of the spears and discard. Boil salter water in a large pot (or two, depending on the size of your asparagus). 
  • Make the vinaigrette while the water is coming to a boil. Add the green onion to 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a little Kosher salt in a small bowl. Wait a few minutes and then whisk in the olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. You can add more vinegar and salt, to taste. 
  • Once the lamb is resting on a platter, put the asparagus spears in the boiling water and let them simmer briskly until they’re al dente and bright green, 3 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water gently and drain them on a clean kitchen towel for a few minutes. 
  • Arrange the asparagus on a platter; sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and spoon the whisked vinaigrette over.
  • Chop the parsley; slice the lamb. Arrange on a large serving platter by pouring on the beans and arranging the lamb on top. Spoon some of the warm pan juices over the lamb, and scatter the parsley. 

Notes

If you can’t find Flageolet Beans at your local grocer, you can order them online in 1-2 pound bags.
The recipe calls for a fruity olive oil and not typical extra virgin olive oil. We used California Olive Ranch Arbequina. It’s a bit more expensive than typical extra virgin olive oil, but you’ll be able to use it for salads (including fruit salads), vegetables, white fish and seafood (steamed or fried), and with desserts.
 

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