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Devon Spring lamb with ratatouille of Mediterranean vegetables and black olives

Spring is the time when I begin to look forward to the warmer days ahead and I will jump at the chance of cooking something lighter to suit my mood. I love to use the fl avours of the Mediterranean to create something colourful and light but with its feet firmly planted in Devon by using our unbeatable local lamb and herbs from my garden.


Step 1 First cut the vegetables into 1cm dice. I like to remove half of the skins of the aubergines.

Step 2 Sweat the onions in the olive oil until soft and just beginning to colour.

Step 3 Add the aubergine and garlic, continue to sweat down for 5-8 minutes while stirring. The aubergine needs cooking well, as they are unappealing when underdone.

Step 4 Now add the peppers and cook for a further 4 minutes before adding the courgettes.

Step 5 Keep stirring and add the tomatoes, white wine, tomato paste and herbs. Reduce to barely a simmer, add the olives, and then allow to finish cooking for about half an hour.

Step 6 You want the vegetables to retain their individual flavours and textures but the dish will get better as the flavours come together with time. Season with the salt & pepper and it will sometimes benefit from a tiny touch of sugar.

A note on roasting lamb

Roasting lamb is an absolute matter of taste, however, it must always be rested well after cooking whatever your preference. For me I would want to see some juices fl owing but not too rare as this can leave the meat a little tough. For an 8oz lamb rump I would recommend sealing it all round in a frying pan before roasting in a pre- heated oven at 175°C for 12-15 minutes followed by at least 5 minutes resting on a chopping board before being carved.

This is a recipe by
Matt Buzzo
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