Jicama, Kirby and Carrot Salad with Charred Lamb
- ACTIVE: 50 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
Because Jean-Georges Vongerichten is constantly opening new restaurants, it's easy to forget his break-out place: Vong, in Manhattan. This smoky lamb salad dates from Vong's 1992 opening. With crunchy carrots, cucumbers and bean sprouts and a spiced vinegar dressing, it is one of the dishes that launched the Asian-fusion trend in America.
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 red or green Thai chiles, minced
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for rubbing
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds well-trimmed boneless leg of lamb, cut into 3 equal pieces
- 3 medium carrots, finely julienned
- 2 Kirby cucumbers (1/4 pound each), very thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 10 ounces peeled jicama, cut into 1/3-inch dice (2 cups)
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup small mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulbs only, thinly sliced crosswise (2 tablespoons)
- Light a grill. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the sugar, garlic and chiles and bring to a boil. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Stir in the fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Rub the lamb all over with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until nicely charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 135° for medium-rare meat. Transfer the lamb to a carving board to rest for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the cucumbers, jicama, bean sprouts, mint, cilantro and lemongrass. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Transfer the salad to a platter. Thinly slice the lamb. Arrange overlapping slices on the salad and serve.
People often think of pairing Cabernet with lamb, but Shiraz also makes a great match, especially the spicy ones typically produced in Australia's Margaret River region.