Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books


15 February 2016


  • 300g lamb fillets or tenderloins
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 small firm radishes
  • 2 cups baby watercress leaves
  • 2 thick slices watermelon (250g)
  • 1 cup small basil leaves and flowers

For the dressing:

  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim any extra fat or sinew from the lamb. Tip the sesame oil into a bowl and add the finely grated zest and the juice of the lemons with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix this all together and add the lamb, leaving it to marinate for up to an hour.

Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Wash the radishes and cut them into paper thin slices with a very sharp knife or a Japanese mandolin. Wash the watercress, drying it in a clean tea towel or a salad spinner. Cut any tough stalks off and discard them. Cut the watermelon rind away and cut the flesh into nice even chunks. Remove any obvious large seeds.

Make the dressing by shaking the lemon juice, grapeseed oil and some salt and pepper together.

Heat a barbecue grill or a ridged grill pan until hot. Cook the lamb over medium heat until golden brown on both sides, but still a little springy to the touch. Allow the lamb to rest while you compose the salad. Toss the radishes, watercress, watermelon and the basil together, adding most of the dressing. Spread this on a serving platter or divide between four dinner plates.

Slice the lamb thinly and place on top of the salad, garnishing with the basil flowers. Tip the remaining dressing over the lamb and serve at once. Serves 4 Wine match; a chilled crisp riesling Photo by Liz Clarkson for the NZ Listener