25 Aug2013


Hearty, casual and abundant Sunday meals with friends are always a pleasure. We save complicated, multi-course meals for the holidays and very special occasions during the year, but have tended towards more family style meals at other times. This is a typical example of a relatively last minute, sort of impromptu meal that takes good ingredients and just lets them come together. The anchor protein for the meal was a leg of lamb, a present from Australian cousins who were here a few weeks ago. The lamb was in the deep freeze waiting for the right moment… The rest of the meal was made up of farm fresh veggies and greens from several sources.


The spread for 7-8 people. Looks abundant, right? I thought so. Nearly every morsel wiped out. :)


A mixed green salad of lettuces, tiny mexican cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes and a vinaigrette dressing.


A simple but delicious gratin of zucchini, onions and tomatoes…


…to make: just slice yellow and green zucchini and some small white onions into rounds and lay them alternately in an olive oiled baking dish. Add some cherry (in this case, three types) tomatoes in the nooks and crannies and drizzle with more olive oil, lots of fresh thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Stick into a hot oven for say 15 minutes. Meanwhile, tear up some day old bread (no crusts) and place them in a food processor. Add some grated parmesan cheese, more thyme and other herbs such as basil, and drizzle with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and blitz until you have coarse crumbs. Take the veggies out of the oven, sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. So easy and yet so good… soft veggies topped with a crunchy tasty breadcrumb mixture!


Next a platter of roasted rootcrops and veggies.


To make: just add some small or new potatoes to a baking dish, add some peeled carrots, shallots, peeled and cut up butternut squash and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and add some finely chopped rosemary and mix before placing in a hot oven for say 35-45 minutes or until all the veggies are cooked.


A leg of lamb cooked with rosemary and anchovies and served with a sauce that includes some raspberry jam. To make, fully defrost your leg of lamb. Stab the leg with a small sharp knife and insert whole peeled cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary. Also add about 6 whole filets of canned or bottled anchovies. I know that sounds strange, but bear with me for a while. Season generously with salt and pepper and douse with say a cup of white wine and roast for roughly 30 minutes at 450F. Lower temperature to 325F, add some water to the pan and roast another hour or more depending on size of the leg of lamb to achieve desired level of doneness… we like it medium rare to rare. Once the lamb is cooked remove from the oven, and cover the leg to let it “rest” while you make the sauce. Take the pan juices and create a simple gravy with the addition of some butter and flour and a few tablespoons of raspberry jam. Pass this through a sieve to remove solids and seeds. Serve with sauce/gravy on the side. We also served some mint jelly and mint sauce as well for those who MUST have mint jelly with their lamb. None of the guests would have guessed the inclusion of anchovies unless I told them they were there. :)


The flowers for the table centerpiece were recycled in the waning days of these arrangements, so we got two uses from the flowers, and they lasted 5 days in total. :)



  1. Thelma says:

    everything looks delicious….

    Aug 25, 2013 | 9:26 am


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  3. Khew says:

    What an unusual sauce for the lamb! Learnt something new today. Thanks.

    Aug 25, 2013 | 11:05 am

  4. Slightly Epicurean says:

    Yum! Happy Sunday MM!

    Aug 25, 2013 | 1:36 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Khew et al, I forgot to mention the inspiration for the lamb was a recipe of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who used the anchovies with rosemary, and if I recall correctly, lingonberry or other tart red fruit jam or jelly… :)

    Aug 25, 2013 | 5:21 pm

  6. wysgal says:

    I love mint jelly and love having it with lamb (that’s just we had it at home when I was growing up). Surprisingly, I had a hard time finding it in the grocery when I was living in the US, so not sure if it’s more of a European thing as I found it all over the place when I was living in London.

    Aug 26, 2013 | 1:25 am

  7. GerryT says:

    Yummy! Got to try this instead of steaks . I wonder if its gamy as my other half is not particularly adventurous w/ his taste buds . Thanks for the inspiration MM :)

    Aug 26, 2013 | 4:27 am

  8. Natie says:

    Those vegetables look like jewels!

    Aug 26, 2013 | 7:01 am

  9. ami says:

    I’m probably one of the few people who likes anchovies. I recently came across the recipes for tapenade and anchoiade and been thinking of giving it a try. Both contains anchovies.

    Aug 26, 2013 | 10:03 am

  10. Gina Blanco says:

    i always enjoy your tablescapes and flower arrangements. :)

    Aug 26, 2013 | 10:25 am

  11. Khew says:

    Speaking of anchovies and baked veggies, one superb and simple way to have both is to stuff peppers( capsicums ) with tomatoes, garlic & anchovies. Sprinkle with black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake. It’s good without any further adjustments but if you want to concentrate the flavours, drain the resulting juice and reduce it to a rich glaze. Additional grated lemon rind along with some chopped fresh basil or thyme pushes this into serious gourmet territory. This makes a beautiful starter paired with some crusty bread or toast but imagine having it with roasted lamb…..oh lala!

    Aug 26, 2013 | 10:41 am

  12. millet says:

    i imagine the sauce would be equally good with mangosteen jam instead of raspberry. and i like the fact that side dishes are vegetables cooked different ways.

    off-topic, my friends and I had a great breakfast and an even greater lunch at two zubuchon branches over a period of four days, the first to fortify us for a trip to bantayan island, and the second to welcome us back to the city. both ways yummy. thank you for the tokens, MM! so happy to see joan in escario,and mae at the airport! .

    Aug 26, 2013 | 11:33 am

  13. Ms. D says:

    Hi MM,

    Now I’m in US, I am looking forward cooking your recipes. I love your blog, I’d been reading your blog since 2001. Thank you for sharing all this unconditionally.

    God bless you more!!!

    Aug 26, 2013 | 7:35 pm

  14. PITS, MANILA says:

    loving lamb the way we do … this is so delicious! kalamansi with soy sauce for the dip.

    Aug 26, 2013 | 9:44 pm

  15. friedneurons says:

    Anchovy adds fantastic salty & umami flavor to meat. Here at home, we’ve been making anchovy compound butter to accompany the meat whenever we grill skirt or flank steak outdoors. I never would have thought of it myself, but after reading about it in some blog, it immediately made perfect sense. Sometimes we add herbs to the compound butter, and sometimes we add sriracha or tabasco. But the anchovies are always present.

    Aug 27, 2013 | 2:16 pm

  16. Travel Guide says:

    The “sort of impromptu” is an understatement, dishes are excellently planned and made.

    Aug 27, 2013 | 8:01 pm

  17. Anne :-) says:

    Hi MM,

    I’m curious, what drinks did you offer? The above photos does not look like water with ice on it…

    Aug 28, 2013 | 5:43 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    Anne, the tumblers are water with ice, but I think the candlelight distorts the color to a more yellowish hue. We had some wine along with dinner as well.

    Aug 28, 2013 | 5:58 pm

  19. Anne :-) says:

    Thanks MM. :-)

    Aug 28, 2013 | 7:48 pm

  20. WillieEvangelista says:

    WillieEvangelista – wow…so delicious..i love lambs..but it quite expensive..

    Aug 12, 2014 | 11:03 am


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