LAMB CUTLETS WITH SAFFRON, PISTACHIO AND SPINACH RICE

Lamb Cutlets with Saffron rice and spinach

This is another recipe from my new cook book, Blooming Delicious.  A pre conception and pregnancy book.  Published by Vermilion.  £18.99.  Photo by Chris Terry.

I try to add extra goodness wherever I can in my recipes. In this dish, iron, folate and potassium from the pistachios,
will all lead the way towards a healthy pregnancy. Magnesium in the rice is essential to help baby form healthy bones and muscles. In addition, good levels of vitamin B12, found in lamb, are linked with improved mood and lower anxiety.

PREP TIME 20 MINUTES •  COOK TIME 50 MINUTES • SERVES 2

6–8 lamb cutlets or chops
(approx. 600–800g)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
salt and freshly ground
black pepper
FOR THE RICE
430ml chicken or vegetable
stock
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled
and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
and sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cardamom pods, crushed
200g brown rice
50g raisins
large pinch of saffron
50g whole pistachio nuts
2 handfuls of baby
leaf spinach
salt and freshly ground
black pepper
TO SERVE
2 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tbsp chopped pistachio
nuts
fresh coriander leaves, torn (optional)

1 Bring the stock for the rice to the boil in a saucepan then turn
off the heat.
2 Season the lamb with the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the rapeseed oil. Leave to marinate while you prepare the rice.
3 Place a casserole pan on the stove, turn the heat to high and add the rapeseed oil. When hot, add the onion and fry for 2–3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic, cumin, coriander and cardamom pods. Cook for 2–3 minutes before adding the rice, raisins and saffron. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to coat the rice in all the pan juices.
4 Pour in the hot stock, reserving 100ml for later. Turn the heat down to low, add a tight-fitting lid and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5 While the rice is cooking, set a frying pan over a high heat and pour in the remaining rapeseed oil. When hot, cook the lamb for about 3 minutes on each side, until well browned all over – do this in batches if your pan looks a little crowded, keeping the cooked chops on a warmed plate, covered with foil, while you cook the remaining ones. Turn off the heat.
6 When the rice is nearly cooked, fold in the pistachios and the spinach. Add the remaining stock, then season with salt and black pepper. Place the lamb cutlets on top and replace the lid. Leave to cook for a further 8–10 minutes until all the spinach has wilted and the liquid is absorbed.
7 Remove the lid and serve the rice and lamb. I like mine with some Greek or natural yogurt, some extra chopped pistachios and a sprinkle of torn coriander for freshness.

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