Ode to Nigella 25 – Lamb with Garlicky Tahini

I figure after all that chocolate and for some, all that thanksgiving feasting, lets have something a little less cloying. I have a deep and abiding love of whole foods – that is lots of vegetables and fruit and whole grains and low-GI leanings. Tahini sits well and truly in that camp and I adore it. This garlicky dip-type paste is divine in its palate thwacking capacity.

Lamb with Garlicky Tahini

  • 1 oion
  • 1 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 2
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, plus more, for garnishing
  • 10 lamb of noisettes, about 1 1/4 inches thick
  • 8tbsp tahini
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt
  1. Put the onion into one large shallow dish in which the noisettes will fit in one layer – or into a freezer bag
  2. Add the oil, lemon zest and cumin
  3. Give a good stir and add the lamb then cover or seal and marinade for as long as you’ve got
  4. Preheat the oven to 210C and put a nonstick or cast-iron pan on the stove
  5. Remove the noisettes from the marinade, brushing off any bits of onion
  6. Sear each side for a minute or two, then transfer to a baking pan and then to the preheated oven
  7. 10 minutes should be right for pink (but not bloody) lamb – you may need a bit longer if the meat started off very cold. You will need to check for yourself, obviously, and when cooked as you want, remove to a warmed plate
  8. For the sauce, put the tahini in a bowl and add the garlic and salt
  9. Stir with a wooden spoon, adding the lemon juice as you do – it will seize up here, but don’t worry, because it will loosen
  10. Slowly add some water (I find I can use about 1/2 cup), pouring from a measuring cup, so only a little goes in at a time and keep stirring.
  11. When you have a smooth mixture–the consistency of heavy cream–stop adding water
  12. Put into a bowl with a spoon and sprinkle with the additional ground cumin.

The tahini is spectacular with diced tomato and parsley and some warmed pita chips as a light and nutritious lunch.