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Seared Lamb Loin with Celery Root and Pear Purée, Nutmeg Scented Baby Spinach and Gorgonzola Sauce

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Photo: Louise Vessy

Seared Lamb Loin Photo: Louise Vessy

Instead of lamb and mashed potatoes, try this luxurious twist with celery root and spinach. The spring greens make a great transition from hearty winter meals.

Recipe courtesy of Gordon Bailey, Lot 30

Ingredients:

  • 3 lamb loins
  • 1 celery root,* medium sized
  • 1 pear (Bosc or Bartlett)
  • 4 handfuls of spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) butter
  • 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp (155 ml) Gorgonzola cheese (or other blue cheese)
  • 1/4  cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • nutmeg, preferably whole
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. For the celery root purée, peel and dice the celery root and pear. Place a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat and add a splash of canola oil. Sweat the celery root, pear and 3 whole garlic cloves. Add water to cover and put on lid. Let simmer until the water evaporates and the veg/fruit is tender. If not yet tender, add more water and simmer uncovered.
  2. Place in food processor. Blend until smooth and add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from blender, set aside and keep warm.
  3. For Gorgonzola sauce, in a small pot on medium heat add oil, vinegar, Dijon and sugar. Let mixture come to a simmer and then remove from heat. Crumble Gorgonzola and incorporate with the warm mixture using an immersion blender until it’s a thick, smooth consistency. Set aside.
  4. Pull lamb loins from fridge and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add oil to a heavy-bottomed pan on high heat. Season lamb with salt and place in pan. Sear only one side until golden brown. Remove from pan and place in oven-safe dish seared-side down. Cook in oven at 375°F (190°C) until medium rare. Remove from oven and let rest for 8 minutes. Just before plating, slice each loin into 4 portions.
  5. In a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat, add remaining butter, chopped garlic, shallots and spinach. Toss. As spinach wilts, add freshly grated nutmeg. Remove from heat.
  6. Place 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of Gorgonzola sauce on each plate and swipe with bottom of spoon. Add purée and spinach to plate. Arrange 3 lamb loin medallions and serve. Serves four.

*A member of the celery family, celery root (or celeriac) is available in farmers’ markets and some grocery stores during fall and winter. It resembles a knobbly turnip with whitish-green skin. It has a mild celery flavour and is wonderful in mashes, braised or shredded in coleslaws.

This recipe was featured in the article Luscious Lamb.

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