Don’t get me wrong. I do respect the man- especially how he single-handedly revamped British school lunches and made us all think twice before mindlessly wolfing down a handful of French fries or a pile of golden brown nuggets that had just moments before been sizzling in a pool of hot gleaming oil- but his shows, between their poorly lighted sets and shaky cameras, honestly annoyed me the hell out of me.
That was, until Jamie at Home came along.
A huge garden with mind boggling varieties of every vegetable you can imagine growing (organically, to boot!), charming kitchen filled with the most gorgeous light combined with Jamie’s infectious, insatisable passion for growing and eating good food, the show quickly had me hooked quicker than I could reach for the remote to switch channels instinctively.
And before long, I was eagerly watching episodes after episodes of Jamie at Home, all the while wishing really hard I had his garden.
So when my mum gifted me the Jamie at Home cookbook (no hint dropping involved I swear! Just being glued to his show 24-7 seemed to do the trick ha!), it was all I could do not to drop everything and race to the kitchen.
And what better to kick off my new found fascination with Jamie’s new show than with a carrot salad he so casually puts together on the show?
Now, carrots to me have always been just, well, carrots. I happily eat them raw in salads, steamed served with a piece of steak but they have always sort of been the sidekick.
But in this salad, carrots happily take to the limelight and hog the limelight, they do so incredibly well.
Tossed in a middle eastern-inspired dressing and served with fragrant minced lamb and some toasted pita, it was just an incredible salad through and through.
This had even my little sister picking at it and eventually giving in and filling up half a pita disc all the while proclaiming how good it was despite not being much of a carrot person.
I have to admit that for once, I’m happy to have to eat my words about Jamie’s shows.
And if this salad is anything to go, I really can’t wait to check out the rest of his cookbook (and show, of course)!
Carrot and Lamb Salad [adapted from Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home]
2 lamb sausages, with the meat removed from the sausage casings
1 tsp garam masala
3 carrots, peeled
A small bunch of corriander leaves, chopped
2 small discs of pita breads, toasted
1/2 a lemon, sliced into 2 quarters
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
A small knob of ginger, peeled and grated
Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the ground lamb. Add the garam masala and stir. Keep frying until the lamb’s fragrant and crisp.
- Cut the carrots into juvenile strips and set aside.
- To make the dressing Grind the cumin seed using a mortar and pestle. Combine the ground cumin with the lemon zest, juice, onion, grated ginger and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together with a glurg of olive oil until it all comes together. Stir the dressing into the carrot. Mix the corriander in.
- Divide the lamb mince between two plates and serve with the dressed carrot, toasted pita bread and lemon slices. Serves 2