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Greek Lamb with Watermelon Salad

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Greek lamb with watermelon salad

Photography by Mark Roper

Greek lamb with watermelon salad

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 x 200g lamb backstraps, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (95g) Greek-style yoghurt

Watermelon salad

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 300g watermelon flesh, roughly chopped
  • 120g feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves , sliced if large
  • 1/2 cup (60g) pitted kalamata olives, sliced


  1. Pound cumin, rosemary, peppercorns, chilli and 1 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle, until coarsely ground. Add the lemon and orange zests, then stir in oil. Place lamb in a shallow dish, pour over marinade, then turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat a heavy-based frypan over medium-high heat. In 2 batches, sear the lamb on all sides, turning, for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a baking tray, then roast in the oven for 7 minutes for medium-rare, or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the watermelon salad, whisk together the oil and lemon juice, then season and toss in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir the mint into the yoghurt and season well. Slice the lamb backstraps and serve with the watermelon salad and minted yoghurt on the side.

Notes & tips

  • If you don't have a mortar and pestle you can substitute the cumin seeds, chilli flakes and peppercorns for powdered versions.


delicious. - December 2006, Page 92
Recipe by Valli Little

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