Zucchini, pea and mint salad with spiced lamb ribs

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

  • 2 racks lamb belly ribs (about 950gm each), skin and some fat removed
  • 140 gm (½ cup) thick plain yoghurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout (see note)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • To serve: lime halves
  •  
  • Harissa
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp each coriander seeds and cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 250 gm long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  •  
  • Zucchini, pea and mint salad
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandolin
  • 200 gm podded peas (about 500gm unpodded)
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) mint
01   Place lamb ribs in a non-reactive container. Combine yoghurt, lime, ras el hanout and oil in a bowl, season to taste, spoon over ribs, rub into lamb, cover and refrigerate for flavours to develop (overnight).
02   Preheat oven to 150C. Place ribs on oven trays lined with baking paper, top with a sheet of baking paper then a sheet of foil and roast until very tender (2½-3 hours). Cut into single-rib portions.
03   Meanwhile, for harissa, heat half the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (10-15 minutes), add tomato paste and stir until paste darkens (2-3 minutes). Meanwhile, dry-roast coriander and cumin seeds (30 seconds-1 minute), transfer to a mortar and pestle, pound until finely ground and set aside. Dry-roast caraway seeds (30 seconds) and set aside. Add chilli, coriander, cumin and caraway seeds to onion mixture, stir to combine, reduce heat to low, simmer until chillies are tender (20-25 minutes), adding a little water if necessary to prevent scorching, then cool to room temperature. Transfer to a food processor, add paprika and remaining oil, process until smooth and season to taste. Harissa will keep refrigerated in a sterile jar for 2 months. Makes 1½ cups.
04   For zucchini, pea and mint salad, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and 1 tbsp harissa in a large bowl and season to taste. Add zucchini, toss to coat and set aside for flavours to develop (15 minutes). Meanwhile, blanch peas until bright green (1-2 minutes), drain, refresh and drain well. Add to zucchini mixture with mint and toss to combine. Serve with ribs, lime halves and extra harissa.

Note Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend containing up to 50 spices; it's available from Herbie's Spices and select delicatessens.

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