7-or 8-bone rack of lamb, trimmed of fat, then cut into two racks
few thyme sprigs, left whole, plus extra sprigs to serve
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying and drizzling
zest ½ lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
20g pack flat-leaf parsley
1 fat or 2 regular garlic cloves, crushed
400g can cherry tomatoes
50g feta cheese, finely crumbled
zest ½ lemon
pinch dried oregano
½ slice white bread (use day-old if you can), whizzed into crumbs
Marinate the lamb first. Put the racks into a non-metallic dish and mix the thyme, oil, lemon zest, garlic and half the oregano in a bowl. Rub this all over the lamb, then leave to marinate for at least 30 mins or up to 24 hrs. It’s important that you cook the lamb from room temperature rather than fridge cold, so if you’re cooking within 1 hr or so, leave it out of the fridge.
For the sauce, finely chop the parsley stalks. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan or wide casserole, then add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and the stalks, then soften for 1 min. Add the tomatoes and remaining oregano, then simmer for 5 mins until saucy, popping the cherry tomatoes with your wooden spoon to release all the juices and seeds. Chop the parsley leaves roughly and add half to the pan. Heat oven to 230C/fan 210C/ gas 8. Make the crust by mixing the remaining parsley leaves, feta, zest, oregano and breadcrumbs in a bowl.
When you’re ready to cook the lamb, leave most of the tasty marinade on the meat, season it well with salt and freshly ground pepper, then press the crust onto one side of each piece. Sit the racks in the sauce, with the crust-side facing upwards. Strew the thyme sprigs from the marinade over the lamb and into the sauce, then drizzle everything with a little extra virgin olive oil. Roast the lamb in the sauce, uncovered, for 20 mins (for pink and juicy meat) until the crust is golden and the sauce thickened. Leave to rest for 10 mins, loosely covered, so that the crust doesn’t go soggy, then carve the lamb between each bone to make cutlets. Serve the crusted cutlets with spoonfuls of the intense, roasted-down tomato sauce, and the Easy buttered onion pilaf and Lemony greens (recipes below). Garnish with thyme.