Lamb Steaks with Coriander Chickpea Salad

This is a little humdinger of a recipe – I got the idea of a chickpea salad from Pinterest (check out the Sal's Kitchen Pinterest page, for loads more recipes!), although this is my adapted version, and it really, really works. If you’re veggie, or if you’re just looking for a light lunch, I’d definitely recommend the salad on its own.

1 400g can of chickpeas
A couple of big handfuls of rocket
A handful of fresh coriander
A tablespoonful of coriander pesto, if you can (otherwise, add another handful of the fresh stuff)
A couple of cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Lime juice (or lemon, if you haven’t got lime)
Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
100g couscous
2 lamb steaks
1 red pepper

Serves 2.

First of all, make your salad. Pop the couscous in a bowl and add 200ml boiling water. Put a plate on top and set a timer for 5 minutes. Next, chop the rocket and coriander in a blender (one like my little Cuisinart mixer is good – but if you don’t have anything, just chop very finely with a knife). Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then mix with the chopped leaves, and add a good dollop of coriander pesto (by the way, this is a great little ingredient to have in the fridge, to pep up salads and sauces). In a small bowl, mix together a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a sprinkle of sugar, two crushed cloves of garlic, a generous glug of olive oil and a splash of lime juice. It won’t combine completely – you’ll notice the mustard fighting the olive oil – but give it a really good twirl and then pour over the chickpeas, adding another glug of olive oil to help it spread around. Season well and taste – remember that you’ll be ‘diluting’ the flavours with the couscous, so you want it to be fairly bold at this point.

Your couscous should be about ready – take the plate off the top and fluff it up with a fork, then add a slug of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Once it’s cooled a little (but while it’s still warm) scoop it in with the chickpeas and mix well. Taste it again just to make sure it doesn’t need anything else.

Next, cook your lamb steaks – this bit will go really quickly, so wait until you’re almost ready to eat (the chickpea salad will keep very happily on the counter). Put a frying pan on a medium heat to warm up, and then sprinkle both sides of the lamb steak with cumin, salt and pepper and rub the flavours in with your fingers. Pop the lamb into the pan and then get started on your red pepper, which will take nearly as long as the meat – cut out the stalk and the seeds, then slice into long thin strips and add to the pan with the lamb.

Keep an eye on the meet as it cooks, and turn it over once the underside has turned golden brown. As the pan heats up, the second side will probably take far less time. Once both sides are golden brown, the inside should be cooked to perfection, although if you like it well done, give it a little bit longer on each side. When the lamb’s done, the peppers should be soft and gooey.

Serve up the lamb steaks topped with beautiful bright red peppers and a generous side of zingy, crunchy chickpea salad – scrumptious.