Sunday Suppers: Grilled Lamb, Spinach Gratin and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Sunday dinners should be the best ones, I think. They should undo the working week’s headaches and the weekend’s debauchery. I’ve been fortunate to have a great group of friends in New York with whom I cook most Sundays. Our “Sunday suppers,” as we (so very creatively) call them, often unfold in a Sunday afternoon walk around town. One of us throws out an idea, like a kite, and we buffet it around until it’s something that excites us all. Everyone brings something interesting to the table—O., who worked in a Southern California taqueria, calls the shots on fish tacos; R., also known as “The Knife,” dresses greens with the same pumpkin-seed oil he used in Austria—and the results are equal parts ambitious and delicious.

This particular Sunday, we made the eponymous foods above. It’s the caboose end of the tomato train, so the idea for a salad was a quick yea. Our two experiences grilling steaks prepared Jaden’s way had been so juicy, so perfectly medium-rare and flavorful, that we decided to try it with lamb. The gratin? I’m not sure I remember the thought process behind it. I think it had to do with our collective love of butter, as well as a sneaky feeling that mashed potatoes would gild the fatted lamb lily.

Recipes after the jump.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

1 pound heirloom tomatoes

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt, to taste

1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

Thinly slice the large tomatoes and cut smaller ones into wedges. Arrange on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and dot sparingly with vinegar.

Grilled Lamb [adapted from Jaden’s recipe]

lamb steaks

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

extra-virgin olive oil

Half an hour to one hour before you plan to grill, coat steaks with a massive amount of salt on each side. Pepper lightly. Leave, undisturbed, for desired waiting time. Heat grill on high. Rinse steaks and pat dry. Drizzle each steak with 1 tsp of olive oil, and cook 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Allow steaks to rest for 5-7 minutes after removal from grill before slicing and serving.

[There is no recipe for the spinach gratin, I’m sorry to say. I improvised all of it. There was flour, butter, milk, nutmeg, Parmesan and spinach. Breadcrumbs and Parmesan on top. It’s almost midnight, and my batteries are low. Sorry.]

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4 Responses to Sunday Suppers: Grilled Lamb, Spinach Gratin and Heirloom Tomato Salad

  1. OMG. It’s 8am and now I’m craving lamb.

    all I have are stale Cheerios and instant oatmeal.


  2. Shrads says:

    You’ve inspired me. I made lamb stew tonight. I know it’s no fancy-schmancy you’d come up with, but Giada helped me out. Oh, those Giadas.

    Tomorrow’s menu is oopma.

  3. Ron says:

    One thing omitted that’s in the original recipe and is absolutely vital – before grilling the steaks rinse off the salt and pat dry. Otherwise they’ll be uneatable.

  4. N says:

    You’re right, Ron. It is in the original recipe, and I completely missed noticing it. However, I (and friends) have neglected to rinse dozens of times since this post, and it still tastes wonderful—not oversalted in the slightest. (Maybe we have serious problems.)

    I’ll correct the post, though. I wouldn’t like to spread false information and then feel like the Lady Macbeth of hypertension.

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