Mitzismezze · Recipes

Lamb with Saffron, Rice and Walnuts

Fennel seeds seem to be my go to ingredient of the moment and I’m adding them to everything from my eggs to roast tomatoes. The fennel in this dish is not too overpowering if you’re not a massive fan. The combination of toasted walnuts and honey brings a simple dish of rice and lamb chops alive. I made it twice and doubled the recipe for the rice, which I felt it needed. Absolutely delicious. Gluten-free and serves 8.


8 lamb chops

2 tbsps. of olive oil

100g of shelled walnuts, chopped

2 tsps. of clear honey

¼ chilli flakes

1 tsp. of fennel seeds

1 onion, chopped

175g of basmati rice or long grain rice, rinsed

600ml hot vegetable stock

Pinch of saffron threads, lightly crushed

½ tsp. of ground turmeric

100g of frozen peas, thawed

2 tbsps. of chopped fresh mint

Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 150C. Brush the chops with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan, add the chops and fry for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, turning the chops halfway through the cooking time. Meanwhile, dry-fry the walnuts in an ovenproof pan for 1 minute and stir in the honey and chilli flakes. Put the pan in the oven with the lamb and let dry for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly. Heat another pan and add the fennel seeds, and dry-fry for 1 minute or until they release their aroma. Tip the seeds onto a plate and return the pan to the heat. Add the remaining olive oil and then add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for 7-8 minutes until the onion starts to colour. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the hot vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Return the fennel seeds to the pan and stir in the walnuts, saffron and turmeric. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the peas and heat through and then added the chopped mint. Serve the lamb chops with the saffron rice and walnuts.

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