Across Argentina, barbequed meats and chimichurri sauce go hand in hand. My version utlilises spring lamb and is served simply with char-grilled vegetables for a quick and easy dinner outside or in. The chimichurri sauce needs to be made ahead, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to entertain.
16 Lamb chops
3/4 of a cup water
1 tablespoon of flaky sea salt
8 large cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 cup fresh,flat leaf Italian parsley leaves, very finely chopped
1 cup fresh oregano, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons chilli flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Eggplant, sliced into 2cm rounds
4 large zucchini, sliced diagonally
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
75g feta cheese
400g cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped (200g each of red and yellow tomatoes if you can get them)
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chimichurri sauce: Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan , add the salt, and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Mince the garlic very finely, and place in a medium bowl with the parsley, oregano and chilli flakes. Whisk in the vinegar, then the olive oil followed by the salted water. Transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid, and keep in the refrigerator. Let the flavours mingle for at least a day. The sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Lamb: Bring the meat to room temp and spoon over 4 tablespoons of the chimichurri sauce, coating the meat well. Leave to marinate for 30 mins while you prepare the vegetables. To cook the lamb, place on a sizzling hot barbeque on each side for 3-4 minutes for medium rare. Remove, cover and rest for 10 minutes while you barbeque the vegetables.
Salad: Season the sliced eggplant and zucchini with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and place on a sizzling hot barbeque until cooked char marks (2-3 minutes each side). Set aside to cool slightly while you finish the salad.
Dressing: In a small bowl, mix together chives, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper
To assemble the salad slice each eggplant round into strips, slice the zucchini in half and arrange on a serving plate with the chopped cherry tomatoes. Drizzle over the dressing, and to finish sprinkle over pine nuts and feta cheese.
Serve the lamb chops with a few extra dollops of the chimichurri sauce alongside the salad.