Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Brydie Thompson

No series of classic Kiwi dishes would be complete without a lamb one. These succulent lamb racks (from Ovation Lamb, available from Greenlea Butcher) are simply the best our country produces. The traditional pairing of mint comes via a pesto, which you can baste over the lamb as well as serve on the side.

The natural sweetness of kumara is enhanced with a hint of Manuka honey and then pureed. (This puree also makes a wonderful dip.) Serve with some BBQd veg and you have a sensational summer Kiwi dish.

Serves 4

2x lamb racks

Bring the lamb out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking. Pat dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt. Heat a pan or the BBQ to smoking hot and sear the lamb, skin side down, for five minutes.

Remove the lamb from the pan and place on an oven tray with the golden seared side up. Generously smear the pesto over the lamb and bake in a 180°C oven for 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven and rest for 6‒7 minutes before slicing and serving with the kumara puree and more pesto.

Mint Pesto
1½ cups fresh mint
½ cup fresh parsley
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup Parmesan
1 tbsp lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
pinch salt
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Place everything except the oil in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until it forms a smooth paste. Store in a clean jar, for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Manuka Honey Kumara Puree

750g‒1kg kumara (I used Beauregard variety)
1 heaped tbsp Manuka honey
zest and juice of an orange
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
white pepper

Peel and chop the kumara into 3‒4cm chunks and place on an oven tray.
Mix the honey, orange zest and juice and olive oil together. You may need to warm the honey a little to make it more pliable.
Drizzle the honey syrup over the kumara, season with salt and white pepper and cover with tin foil. Bake at 180°C, for approx. 30 minutes or until the kumara is soft.
Either mash cooked kumara or place in a blender and puree. If too thick add a little extra orange juice or olive oil.

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