Ingredients

Roasted Tomato Puree

  • 2 pounds heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, quartered
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 1 cup whole basil leaves

Blue Cheese Risotto

  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 pound Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup firm blue cheese, grated

Lamb Meatballs

  • 3 bunches kale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 2 pounds ground Lamb
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Roasted Tomato Puree

Slice tomatoes in half, season with salt, pepper and oil; place flat-side down on pan. Roast at 400ºF until soft and charred, about 25 minutes.

In a nonreactive saucepan, heat oil; sauté garlic and onion. Add tomatoes; simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in basil. Remove from heat; slowly add to blender and puree until smooth. Pass mixture through a chinoise or strainer; season with salt and pepper.

Blue Cheese Risotto

In a separate pan, heat stock to a simmer. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil. When hot, add onion and garlic; season with salt to taste. Sauté for 3 minutes or until onions are slightly soft. Add rice; stir until slightly translucent on the edges. Add stock to cover rice; stir constantly, adding liquid as it gets incorporated into the rice. Continue stirring until the rice starts to become tender. Add in cream, butter and cheese. Check seasoning; adjust with salt if needed. Simmer for 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Lamb Meatballs

Remove kale leaves from stems. In a pan, heat oil; add in onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add kale; sauté until leaves are wilted. Add syrup, vinegar and stock; reduce until tender. Add butter; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Refrigerate until cold.

Squeeze out excess liquid from kale; reserve. (The reserved liquid makes a great addition to a sauce or a base for a vinaigrette.)

Finely chop kale and add to ground lamb; mix until incorporated. Form meatballs into 2 ounce balls; refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a pan, sauté meatballs in oil until golden brown. Finish in pan on low or in the oven for about 4 minutes.

To serve: Place Blue Cheese Risotto on serving plate. Add 5 meatballs and top with Smoked Tomato Puree. Add crostini if desired.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Cook Time: 2 Hours

Recipe provided by Executive Chef Brian Albert, The Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Photo courtesy of The American Lamb Board.