Lamb and Zucchini Salad

This recipe is bursting with all the flavours and vibrancy of spring. Best enjoyed al fresco with a cold glass of something bubbly.


Prep time 15 minutes (plus marinating)
Cook 10 minutes 


  • 600g lamb backstrap
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
  • 200g peas
  • 1 large handful of wild rocket
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, thinly shaved with a mandolin, fronds reserved
  • 1 small handful each of torn flat-leaf (Italian) parsley and mint
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced into ribbons; use a mix of yellow and green zucchini if available
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

NOTES: Pan-frying is also a good method to cook the lamb: heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan over high heat and sear well all over, then set aside to rest for a minute or two before carving. If zucchini flowers are in season, add them to the salad. Tear the petals into pieces and thinly slice the stems into rounds.

1. Combine the thyme, garlic, lemon zest and half the lemon juice in a bowl, add a splash of olive oil and the lamb, season with salt and pepper, mix well and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, blanch the peas in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1–2 minutes until bright green and tender, then drain and refresh under cold running water. Combine in a large bowl with the rocket, shaved fennel and fronds, parsley, mint and spring onion.

3. Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan to high. Toss the zucchini with a little oil and chargrill, turning occasionally, for 1–2 minutes until just tender, then set aside.

4. Drain the lamb from the marinade and chargrill, turning occasionally, for 2–3 minutes until brown all over, but still pink in the middle.

5. Rest the lamb for a minute or two, then slice thickly across the grain and add to the salad, along with the chargrilled zucchini. Add the vinegar and remaining lemon juice, drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss to combine and serve.