Warm Lamb Salad


Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Catrine Kelty

When it comes to leftovers, nobody has mixed feelings: They either love them or hate them. Who wants to eat the same thing for days, some say. But for those of us who love them, it’s not about the reheating, it’s about the transformation of one meal into another. My mother has always been great at it: Poached fish from the night before became soufflé the next day, stews turned into soups, vegetables into quiches and omelets. Following this tradition, I like to do the same. Here is a fresh and easy way to use any meat you might have leftover from a roasted leg of lamb. Serve with a crusty baguette and a glass of rosé.

Serves 2–4, depending on how much leftover lamb you have

10–12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ pound leftover roasted lamb (plus or minus), cut into thin strips
1 cup parsley leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Persian cucumbers, cut in half and sliced into half moons
12 Kalamata olives, cut in half
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
12 ciliegine mozzarella balls, cut in half, or ¾ cup cubed fresh mozzarella
½ small red onion sliced thin (¾ cup)

Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl; set aside while you make the dressing. In a bowl whisk the shallot, mustard and vinegars. Let sit for 20 minutes, then slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan until very hot. Sauté the lamb until crispy on the edges and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a platter and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the dressing over the meat.

Return the pan to the stove, drain the tomatoes (the salt will have drawn out a lot of their liquid) and add them to the pan. Cook until they are soft but still hold their shape, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the lamb platter and drizzle with another tablespoon of dressing.

Arrange the rest of the ingredients on the platter like you would for a composed salad: cucumbers in one corner, mozzarella in another, olives, onions, etc. Sprinkle the parsley and oregano leaves over the salad and serve with the extra dressing at the table, seasoning with salt and pepper if you like.

This recipe appeared in the Spring 2019 issue as part of a larger story on lamb.