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Lamb Cutlets with Vegetable Caponata & Basil Oil

This is great on a cold evening with a glass of Pinot. The Caponata can be made in advance & warmed when needed or served cold as a vegetable salad.

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  • the lamb

  • 8 lamb cutlets

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 sprigs of thyme

  • salt & pepper

  • for the caponata

  • 2 red capsicum (1/2cm dice)

  • 1 zucchini (1/2cm dice)

  • 1 eggplant (1/2cm dice)

  • 1 brown onion (diced)

  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)

  • 50g sultanas

  • 10g capers

  • 10g toasted pine-nuts

  • 125ml red wine

  • 125ml red wine vinegar

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 bay leaves

  • salt & pepper

  • for the basil oil

  • 1/4 bunch fresh basil

  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil

  • salt & pepper


  • 1.

    Combine the thyme and olive oil with a mortar & pestle. Rub the oil over the lamb and season well. Set aside.

  • 2.

    In a large saucepan fry the eggplant in a little oil and cook til soft. Remove & drain on paper towel.

  • 3.

    Saute the onion for 2 minutes then add the garlic. Cook for a minute then add the zucchini & capsicum. Once softened, deglaze the pan with the red wine. Add the cooked eggplant, pine-nuts, capers, sultanas & red wine vinegar. Stir in the tomato paste & drop in the bay leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • 4.

    While the Caponta is cooking, tear the basil leaves into a mortar & bash with the pestle while adding olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

  • 5.

    Heat a ridged griddle plate or bbq hotplate til it starts to smoke. Add the lamb cutlets. Leave to sizzle for 3 minutes before turning & cook for a further 3 minutes. Rest the meat for about 5 minutes. - The meat ideally should be served medium-rare.

  • 6.

    To serve, spoon the Caponata onto a plate, place 2 cutlets on top & drizzle with the basil oil and a wedge of lemon.

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