In this simple and elegant barbecue meal, lamb and eggplant are dressed with Greek flavours. The type of lamb you choose will affect cooking times so adjust accordingly. If you have pescatarians to cater for, keep the eggplant and lamb separate and you could always spoon some warm lentils, tossed with olive and lemon, over the plain eggplant to boost the protein.
Recipe Tag: lamb
Tart dried apricots from Central Otago are ideal to use here, where the fruit melts into the sauce and helps cut the richness of the lamb. It’s a wonderful dish to make ahead, too, just add the herbs and toasted nuts once you have reheated the lamb and chickpeas.
Only use fresh bay leaves in the adobo. While you can mix the rub ingredients in the blender, Andrew and Jess believe the flavour is better if you use a mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients as it smashes rather than cuts the ingredients. The annatto powder, which is characteristic of a Batangueno-style adobo, is optional but adds a bright piquancy to the dish. It can be found at some Asian supermarkets or buy seeds online from Tio Pablo and grind to a powder before using. Traditionally pineapple vinegar would be used in the adobo but as it is unavailable here, at Nanam they use a sherry vinegar in its place.
Vietnamese banh xeo are traditionally cooked with rice flour, but here I have used buckwheat for its earthy, nutty flavour. Feel free to use rice flour if you prefer.
There are quite a lot of ingredients, so I recommend being methodical and organising yourself from the outset. In separate bowls, mix together the ingredients for the marinade, the stir-fry paste and finally the stir-fry sauce so you have everything to hand when cooking. Although this recipe requires quite a lot of prep, as with most Chinese cuisine, the cooking barely takes any time at all.
You can serve this on bought flatbread such as pita, but the gluten-free chickpea pancakes add a lovely flavour. They are nicest made fresh but you can make them in advance and heat them up for 5 minutes wrapped in foil in the oven. Click here for the pancakes