Spinach Salad with Lamb and Feta
Sliced roast loin of lamb served atop a bed of spinach leaves and roasted red peppers with a feta cheese-basil mixture and drizzled with basil-infused oil.
1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb loin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
3 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled*
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
10-ounces feta cheese
1 bunch spinach (about 6 cups packed)
- Trim and tie lamb. Season lamb with salt and pepper. In a zip-lock style plastic bag combine lamb, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 tablespoon chopped basil, turning lamb to coat evenly. Marinate lamb, covered and chilled, 4 hours.
- Cut roasted peppers into thin 2-inch long strips and in a bowl combine with vinegar and 2 tablespoons oil. Chill peppers, covered, until ready to assemble salad.
- In another bowl coarsely crumble feta cheese and stir together with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon basil. Cover and chill feta/basil mixture.
- In a blender puree remaining 1/4 cup oil with remaining tablespoon basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill.
- Bring basil oil to room temperature before assembling salad.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot and brown lamb on all sides. Put skillet in middle of oven and roast lamb about 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 140°F (60°C) for medium-rare. Cool lamb. Chill lamb, covered, at least 2 hours. Carve lamb into thin slices.
- Discard coarse stems from spinach and arrange leaves around edges of 4 large plates. Arrange the peppers evenly over spinach and mound the feta/basil mixture in center of each plate. Arrange lamb slices around feta and drizzle salads with basil oil.
Makes 4 servings.
*For convenience, canned roasted red peppers available in most supermarkets may be used.