Shoulder of Spring Lamb with Flageolet Beans and Olive Relish

Another day, another book that I’m embarrassed not to have cooked from. Maybe it’s because menu books can be a little intimidating. I always feel that if I don’t do a whole menu, I’m failing. But things being what they are, there wasn’t a complete menu that we could realistically tackle. So we optimistically dove into the “Spring” section of David Tanis’ lovely book A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, even though it was snowing while we were cooking, and decided on lamb and beans.

We’re not likely to have real spring lamb anytime soon, but we had a nice boneless leg, and we’d just gotten the latest bean club shipment from Rancho Gordo which contained flageolets. It was an obvious choice.

After trekking up to Morse’s Sauerkraut for olives, we started putting this dish together. We put the flageolets on to cook, and make the olive relish. It’s super simple – olives, garlic, lemon, and anchovy. So delicious. We decided to do those the night before, so all we had to do the day of was roast the lamb and dress the beans with salt and pepper, thyme and olive oil. To serve, spread the beans onto a platter, and put the sliced lamb and olive relish on top.

Boy, howdy, this was good. The lamb was delicious, especially with the pungent olive relish, but the flageolets were the star. All of the lamb juice soaked into the beans, and the herbs from the lamb and the lemon and everything just made the beans incredibly flavorful. And of course, they’re Rancho Gordo beans, so they’re impeccably fresh and creamy. (We used the rest of the batch of beans to make a lemony flageolet salad which we couldn’t get enough of.) With this deliciousness, we drank a 2017 Chiroubles Chatenay that was out-freaking-standing. The next day we dashed back up to Now You’re Cooking and got a few more bottles from our guy Joel.

And this book (number seventeen in the project) really is lovely. Some day when we’re not trudging through a foot of snow, we’ll do some actual menus out of it. But we did find one other recipe to make – his Parsnips Epiphany-Style. I mean, they’re just parsnips roasted with oil and salt and pepper, but they were heavenly. We served them with a roast turkey last week. So good.

Next up: The Hands-On Home.

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