Za’atar Crusted Lamb Chops with Aubergine Purée and Flatbread Za’atar Crusted Lamb Chops with Aubergine Purée and Flatbread

Za’atar Crusted Lamb Chops with Aubergine Purée and Flatbread

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Created by Patrick from the GastroGays, this Middle Eastern-inspired dish pairs lamb and aubergine together, which works wonderfully. You can find za’atar and tahini in most big supermarkets now, as well as definitely in Middle Eastern delis and spice shops, but you can easily make your own blend at home. This recipe takes about an hour, start to finish, but is worth the effort and the lamb is so versatile and easy to cook, it really remains the star.

Preparation: 15 mins 
Cooking: 45 mins
Ingredients
  • 6-8 side-cut lamb chops
  • 2 aubergines
  • Half a lemon, juice
  • 1-2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely diced/crushed
  • A little oil

  • For the Za’atar spice blend
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds (toasted, optional)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted, optional)
  • A little flaky sea salt
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme

  • For the flatbread
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 250g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Pomegranate, seeds only
Method
  • For the Za’atar spice blend 
  • In a mortar and pestle grind the cumin seeds and sesame seeds with the flaky salt until broken down a little, then stir through the rest of the dried herbs and spices.

  • For the lamb 
  • Drizzle the lamb in a little oil and then coat lightly in the za’atar spice blend. Cover, and leave in the fridge until you need to cook (this can even be overnight).
  • To cook the lamb, pan fry in a little oil on a medium-high heat for about three minutes a side for pink. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered lightly in foil, for about five minutes.

  • For the aubergine
  • For the aubergines, coat in oil on a baking tray and prick each aubergine three times with a fork. Grill on the highest heat for about 30-45 minutes until the skin is dark, blistered and it’s gone from firm to almost collapsed with the flesh inside. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before handling.
  • When cool enough to handle, split the aubergines down the middle and scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl with the lemon juice, tahini and garlic. Stir everything to combine into the consistency of a thick hummus, taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.
  • For the flatbread
  • Stir together the yoghurt, salt and flour in a mixing bowl until it all comes together. Work the dough lightly on a floured surface until it comes together neatly in one ball. Split into six (either by sight or it may help to weigh the dough, then divide by six to ensure even amounts) and using a little extra flour, roll out with a rolling pin until about 1cm thick.
  • Fry for two minutes or so per side on a very hot, dry frying pan or griddle pan until charred/scored in spots. Fry each flatbread one-by-one and then keep them wrapped in a damp, clean tea towel to remain soft. Serve still warm.
  • To assemble, allow 2 tbsp of aubergine per person at the bottom of the plate, then top with the lamb, each chop sliced in two or three. Sprinkle over the chopped fresh herbs and the pomegranate seeds. Roughly tear the flatbread and serve to one side.

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