It might just be because the combination of a breezy May evening, medium-rare spring lamb, tender haricot vert, and a Thai-spiced coconut milk broth make for a straight-up amazing dinner, but last Sunday an unheard-of civility descended on our family table for a precious few minutes and it was the best. If you make this dish (and you should), I can’t promise it will work the same kind of magic, but at least you’ll know your tastebuds will be rewarded handsomely.
A creamy, spiced coconut milk broth makes up the base of the dish. It comes together quickly, but has all these great flavors like ginger, shallots, Thai spices, lime (cha-ching!), and cilantro. In light of all that, the lamb is prepared simply, with just salt and pepper. The haricot vert bring a nice sweetness to the dish, and can either be sautéed with fish sauce and coconut oil, or blanched.
Before we head to the recipe, we have a couple of pieces over on the Grow Happy blog on strategies for healthier after school snacks (along with the recipe for homemade green goddess dip) and meal planning tips to make healthier dinners easier. Check them out!
And finally, this week we found out our oldest daughter daughter is almost certainly going to be fine –– it’s a huge relief. Thank you again for all the kind wishes and notes; proof again that it’s pretty great to be a part of this online community.
Grilled Lamb with Haricot Vert and Coconut Milk Broth
makes four generous servings
A few notes: this dish is made with lamb, but I imagine it would be excellent with all sorts of fish or shellfish. For the green beans, I did use tiny, tender haricot vert, but plain old green beans would be fine too. You can blanch and serve the beans, or sauté them for added flavor. I tried both. I also thought about adding a few carrot matchsticks for color and sweetness, but left them out in the end. Finally, I liked the additional flavor of green curry paste in the broth. Note that most curry pastes contain dextrose, so if you’re avoiding sugar or Whole 30-ing, you may want to leave this ingredient out.
for the coconut milk broth (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 shallots, rough chopped (roughly 1 cup)
2 inch section of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and rough chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 – 2 tablespoons red chili paste, or to taste
2 tablespoons green curry paste (optional)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Heat a large, deep-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and shallots. Sauté shallots until they are translucent and the edges have browned. Edge heat down to medium, and add the ginger, garlic, fish sauce, red chili paste, and (if using) green curry paste. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Deglaze pan with a 1/2 cup of stock; use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Stir in remaining stock and coconut milk. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, and then turn heat to low and simmer while you make the rest of the dish. Toward the end of cook time, add the scallions.
for the lamb and green beans
2 pounds butterflied leg of lamb, bone removed
4 large handfuls haricot vert, trimmed
2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
sea salt and pepper to taste
fresh lime wedges
1/2 cup minced cilantro
Prepare a hot grill or grill pan. Remove any sliver skin, and trim the leg or lamb into 4 x 4 inch sections (roughly 3/4 – 1 inch thick). Rub each side generously with sea salt and pepper.
For medium-rare lamb, sear each side for 4 – 5 minutes. Rest 3 minutes, and then slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Meanwhile, blanch the haricot vert in salted water for 2 minutes, and then dip in ice cold water. For added flavor, sauté the green beans with 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Add the beans, sea salt to taste, and 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Remove from heat just as beans start to brown.
Add a handful of green beans each to four wide bowls. Ladle in the coconut milk broth and top with several slices of lamb. Top with a generous squeeze of lime, and a small handful each of cilantro and minced scallions.