Lamb loves strong flavors, but it should be cooked only to rare to work in salads, with all visible fat trimmed off.
Make Ahead: The anchovy cream can be asssembled a day in advance -- without the parsley, which should be added just before serving. You'll have enough left over for another salad or two; it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- For the salad
- 12 ounces unpeeled small waxy potatoes, such as 10 to 16 fingerlings
- 3 small-to-medium red bell peppers, stemmed, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the salad components
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces watercress and baby spinach, washed and dried
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1 to 2 tablespoons)
- 1 1/3 pounds rare-cooked lamb, such as boneless butterflied leg of lamb, cut into thin slices
- For the anchovy cream
- Anchovies and oil from a 2-ounce can
- 2 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 6 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (see headnote)
For the salad: Place the potatoes in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for about 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have a small roasting pan at hand, or line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Rub the bell pepper halves with oil, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place them cut side down on the pan or baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Carefully cut them into long slices and let them sit in their cooking juices while you make the anchovy cream.
For the anchovy cream: Combine the anchovies with their oil, the garlic and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth; then, with the motor running, add the extra-virgin olive oil in a steady stream. Add the lemon juice to taste and the parsley; pulse to incorporate. (If you plan to use leftovers on another day, divide the dressing into halves or thirds, and add the parsley only to the portion you wish to use right away.)
When ready to assemble, combine the watercress and baby spinach, the cooled potatoes and sliced peppers with their juices in a mixing bowl. Add the extra-virgin olive oil to taste and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste; toss to coat evenly.
Transfer to a platter or divide among individual plates. Arrange equal amounts of the lamb on each portion and drizzle the anchovy cream on top. Serve immediately.
Adapted from "Plenty," by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, 2010).
Tested by Frances Stead Sellers.
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