Good wishes for a happy day, a successful year….Roast Leg of Lamb for lunch …..

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A new year is a chance for a fresh start. My advice is – Grab It ! Fly with it ! –
I am good at sticking to resolutions and like most people have a little list today to follow. I will certainly be resuming a daily long walk. As I started my blog in July, my walks reduced considerably and as my blog writing friends know, it is a time consuming exercise but as of today there will be time for both.

Norbert starts the new year with the result of his first ever professional photography session finding its way to the front cover of the airline magazine with a photo of an orange tree in our garden. And I so look forward to more photos with him !

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We will now work our way slowly to more healthy eating habits and today I am sharing with you my recipe for a roast leg of lamb which we are having for lunch. I am using Irish Lamb today and this is a very easy dish to prepare and you will have time to relax, enjoy the day and feed the huge appetites well. You can make exactly the same dish with pork instead.

You will need.

A leg of lamb, we are big eaters so one medium leg usually serves 4
2 lemons, zest grated and lemons squeezed
Olive Oil, enough to coat the lamb sparingly
1 small tub yoghurt
4 Garlic cloves, whole
A mix of fresh and dry herbs of your choice, I am using fresh thyme and rosemary and dry oregano
Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 onion
Freshly ground pepper and Maldon Salt

Mix the lemon juice and zest with the yoghurt, olive oil some finely chopped garlic and a mix of finely chopped fresh and dried herbs of your choice. Add a spoon of sweet smoked paprika. Place the lamb on a large piece of foil and rub the marinade all over. Roughly chop up the onions and spread all over the lamb. Season and if available roughly cut up sprigs of fresh rosemary and put over the lamb. Wrap the leg in foil and leave in fridge overnight. Today I am not organized enough and I am marinating it for an hour only and will still have great results. I cook mine in a slow oven at 150 C covered for 4 hours and then uncovered for the last 30 minutes. The result is tender, moist delicious lamb that will literally melt in your mouth. I garnished with thyme and lemon ….

Apart from roasting some potatoes, I am serving a simple Mediterranean Tomato and Leaf Salad.

I like to leave the lamb to rest before serving and I garnish it with more fresh rosemary. i prefer to take it as it is to the table or side buffet table on a large platter surrounded by The roast potatoes with a huge bowl of salad by its side and everyone can help themselves. What I call stress free cooking !

And a simple salad to accompany any meal… Healthy fresh ingredients with a low calorific value!
You will need:
Ripe cherry tomatoes
green leaves, I love lambs lettuce at the moment but you can also use arugula
Fresh basil
Capers
Black olives (optional)
Seasoning, freshly ground pepper and Maldon Salt
Olive Oil
Juice of freshly squeezed half lemon
Few drops balsamic vinegar

Cut up cherry tomatoes and arrange on bed of lambs lettuce. tear up fresh basil leaves and sprinkle on top of tomatoes. add some capers, season, and just before serving add a drizzle of olive oil all over and some freshly squeezes lemon juice. Do not over do it with the dressing. Add a few drops of good quality balsamic vinegar and garnish with some whole black olives if you wish. this is a simple, traditional salad on the island and is specially delicious with lamb ….

And from an island of dreams, I wish you a happy day and a successful new year…. Tante belle cose! so well said in Italian and let us dream of lots of good things to come ……

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Everyday I am overwhelmed by your following, especially from you all in the USA, a whole ocean and continent away…

I am truly touched …

From a little island, a spot on the world map, I wish you a wonderful New Year and more celebrations today with those who matter.

I am excited and look forward to get to know you more, to share my food with you and tell you more about this fascinating island where the sun always shines, where people are warm and kind, where family values still matter and where life is especially good…..

Happy Holidays !

20140101-070340.jpg I took this photo taken on my walk early this morning, I live in paradise ….