I have the world’s coolest neighbor. His yard is well kept, he doesn’t throw loud parties and he pretty much stays to his own devices… Unless he has tomatoes. At that point he’s my favorite guy in the world, because he doesn’t like tomatoes so he gives them to me, and I adore them.
It also happened that the last time he got a box, I had picked up a lamb steak that morning and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Suddenly I found myself wondering what to do with a box of tomatoes and cucumbers as well… Not that I’m complaining about figuring out a use for perfect ingredients like these.
The weather here has been incredibly warm, so I was looking for something light and refreshing. I remembered a recipe for a tomato and cucumber salad I’d seen at My Wooden Spoon, and the rest was history. A few tweaks and a bit of my own spin on the dish she listed and I had a wonderful, light, soul-satisfying meal that took just minutes to make, but will find itself revisited in our home for years to come.
Lamb cooked this way is marvelous. I also happened to be in possession of New Zealand lamb, which has a remarkably strong lamb flavor. (something I appreciate). Even said, the salad stole the show. The next time I make the salad I’m going to pair it with beef. I’ll save champ and mushy peas for lamb of this quality.
- 1 lamb shank steak
- 4 small tomatoes, quartered
- small cucumber, sliced
- small red onion, halved and sliced thin
- 1/4 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Dark Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 tbsp seasoned garlic rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried cilantro leaves. (The fresh had turned funky)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Season both sides of lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a hot skillet over medium-high heat. Cook lamb 2-1/2 to three minutes per side (3 for medium rare. I prefer rare.)
- Remove lamb from heat, cover loosely with foil for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Combine Olive oil, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, cilantro salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl or a sealed container. Whisk or shake until combined.
- Place tomatoes, celery and onion in a large mixing bow. Pour over approximately 1/3 of the dressong and toss gently with clean fingers until just coated. Serve immediately.
- Share and Enjoy!
What I would have done Differently had I thought of it at the time:
As I mentioned, the salad was so bright and punchy that the delicate flavor of lamb was nearly overwhelmed. I’d recommend a more forceful protein like beef, pork or salmon. Otherwise, I’m in love with both dishes individually.
Links to other recipes like this:
- Tomato and Cucumber Salad, from My Wooden Spoon
- Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Feta, Lemon and Thyme, from Kalyn’s Kitchen