Just like a good salsa verde, this bright green, garlicky sauce is wonderful with just about any meat or fish. Try a bowl on the side at a barbecue as a condiment and keep everyone guessing about its main ingredient. If you can’t find Jack-bythe-hedge, use wild garlic leaves or a few handfuls of spinach leaves with a couple of garlic cloves instead.
1 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
200g/7oz Puy lentils
500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
2 racks of lamb (about 320g/11½oz each), trimmed
knob of butter
1 tsp English mustard
FOR THE SAUCE
50g/2oz Jack-by-the-hedge, picked and washed or wild garlic leaves
150ml/¼pt olive oil
juice ½ lemon
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the carrot, onion, celery, thyme and bay leaf, and cook over a medium heat for 10 mins to soften. Add the lentils and fry gently for 1-2 mins. Add the stock, bring to the boil and cook, uncovered, for 20-25 mins until the lentils are cooked through and most of the stock has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, cook the lamb. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the lamb in a roasting tin, season well and roast for 15-20 mins for rare to medium, 25 mins for well done. Leave to rest for 5 mins before carving into chops. 3 While the lamb is resting, make the sauce. Put the Jack-by-the-hedge in a food processor and blitz while slowly trickling in the oil until it forms a pesto consistency. Add the lemon juice to taste, then season.
Stir the butter, mustard and any juices from the lamb into the lentils and season to taste. divide the lentils between warmed plates, top with the chops and drizzle with the sauce.