Tabbouleh has been given a makeover with the addition of asparagus and watermelon and it is served with beautiful succulent lamb.
This is such a lovely way to eat, a beautiful big salad with lots of colour and truck loads of flavour, and some lovely lamb to go with it. To me, Spring has only really arrived when asparagus is ready, the food gets a little lighter and the Asparagus & Watermelon Tabbouleh with Lamb is just perfect for the longer evenings and weekend lunches.
- I have used 2 types of Naked Harvest asparagus in this recipe, both green and purple, but you can just use green asparagus if you prefer.
- Lamb – I have used a 500 gram lamb rack, use 2 lamb racks to serve 4 people comfortably. You can use lamb cutlets as well, see notes.
- instead of the traditional tomato, I have used watermelon which brings such a beautiful sweetness to the dish
- Bulgur wheat is found in mainstream supermarkets and you “cook” by soaking in boiling water.
- Herbs – Tabbouleh is usually just parsley but I have added mint as well which goes so beautifully with lamb and asparagus
- Hummus – I have used store bought Hummus but you can absolutely make your own
How to make Asparagus & Watermelon Tabbouleh with Lamb:
After pre-heating your oven, to finish cooking the lamb in later, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together in a medium sized bowl. Then add the bulgur wheat, this flavours the bulgur as it is quite neutral in flavour.
To cook the lamb, season the rack liberally with salt and pepper and some olive oil. At this point I like to use my hands to rub this all over the lamb. Place the lamb in a pan that has been heated to a medium heat. I prefer to use a pan that can go straight in the oven afterwards, so nothing with a plastic handle! Then cook the lamb until it has some colour on all sides. I find this usually takes around 3 minutes per side.
I like to stand it up using the edge of the fry pan to get the very bottom of the lamb rack too. Once you are happy with the colour transfer to the oven, and I like to cook for around 12 minutes, but I suggest anywhere between 10-18 minutes as the size of the meat, and how you like your meat cooked, are all variables.Once you have taken the meat out of the oven, rest it for a minimum of 10 minutes before slicing, I rest it under tin foil to hold the temperature.
Time to chop all your herbs, spring onions and watermelon. Now to the asparagus, I am using the purple and green asparagus, the purple is best raw, and we cook the green in this recipe. However just use the green if that is all you have. I like to cut the stems into relatively small pieces, around 1 cm or smaller, and then I keep the heads whole, slicing the larger ones in half down the middle so you can see their beauty.
Cook the asparagus in butter and olive oil for a few minutes until just cooked, still tender.
Mix all of the Tabbouleh ingredients together and season well. Place on your serving plate along with some hummus.
Slice the lamb rack and place on top of the Tabbouleh, crumble a little feta over the top and serve.
Common questions about Asparagus & Watermelon Tabbouleh with Lamb:
What can I use instead of Lamb? Lots of protein will work with this salad, chicken, fish fillets, salmon, tofu, beef steaks
Instead of a Lamb Rack? you can use lamb cutlets and just pan fry on each side.
I’m serving big eaters? To serve 4 large eaters you may like a larger lamb rack or 2 x 500 gram lamb racks.
I don’t like Hummus? Garlic Yogurt would be lovely too.
Asparagus & Watermelon Tabbouleh with Lamb
- 500 g Rack of Lamb
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 500 grams Naked Harvest Asparagus I used 400 grams green and 100 grams purple asparagus
- 400 g grams Watermelon
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup bulgur wheat cooked as per packet instructions
- 1 cup parsley around 1 bunch
- 1 spring onion
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 20 grams butter
- Salt and pepper
- Store bought hummus
- 40 grams feta
Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan bake.
In a medium sized bowl, add the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of olive oil, whisk well. Add the bulgur wheat and leave it to soak.
On a plate season the lamb rack with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub over the lamb with your hands. Cook in a pan over a medium heat. I like to use a pan that can go straight in the oven. I cook for around 3 minutes each side until lovely and brown. Then transfer to the oven for between 10 – 18 minutes. I like the lamb medium- medium rare but cook to the degree that you enjoy eating your meat.
Once the meat has come out of the oven, leave to rest for 10 minutes covered in foil.
While the bulgur is soaking, and the meat is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the mint and parsley finely.
Finely slice the spring onions, both the green and the white parts.
Chop the watermelon into 1 cm pieces.
Chop the purple asparagus (if using) by cutting the stems into 1 cm pieces and leave the smaller heads together, for the larger spears slice the heads through the middle.
Chop the green asparagus the same way. Take a fry pan and add ½ tablespoon of olive oil and the butter, once hot add the asparagus, season well with salt and pepper.
Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally, or until nicely cooked and still has crunch (not flabby)
To the bulgur wheat, add mint, parsley, watermelon, spring onion, green asparagus, purple asparagus and season well with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Place Tabbouleh on a serving plate, place some hummus in a small bowl and drizzle with remaining olive oil (optional but I find this looks lovely).
Slice your lamb rack into bite size cutlets and place on top of the tabbouleh and sprinkle over crumbled feta.
Instead of a Lamb Rack you can use lamb cutlets and just pan fry on each side. To serve 4 large eaters you may like a larger lamb rack or 2 x 500 gram lamb racks.
Instead of Hummus Garlic Yogurt would be lovely too.