Seared lamb fillet with Ligurian broad bean pesto

Seared lamb fillet with Ligurian broad bean pesto

20 mins
Cooking time
15 mins
Deidre Rooney

The star here – the bread with the broad bean pesto – can also be served with fish such as red mullet or bream fillets. Despite the name, Ligurian bean pesto is usually served with bread or protein rather than pasta.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
5 tinned anchovies
4 tablespoons grated pecorino
180ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
60ml olive oil
mustard, to serve (optional)

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
500g young broad beans
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 mint leaves, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced, or to taste
400g cherry tomatoes on the vine

From the butcher

Quantity Ingredient
2 x 300g lamb fillets, trimmed

From the baker

Quantity Ingredient
8 slices ciabatta


  1. For the pesto, boil the podded broad beans in water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and slip the beans from their skins. Place in a food processor and add the garlic, mint, anchovies and pecorino. Pulse while very slowly adding the extra-virgin olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning again. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the cherry tomatoes into a baking dish, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and turn the tomatoes to coat. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and slightly charred. Snip the branch so that you have 4 sprigs, one for each serving.
  3. Sprinkle the lamb with pepper, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meat all over. Transfer to a roasting tin, season with salt and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover and keep warm for 10 minutes while the meat rests.
  4. Toast the ciabatta on both sides – preferably on a chargrill pan so you end up with lovely stripes – and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Spread the pesto thickly on top. Cut the lamb into thick slices and serve on warm plates alongside the ciabatta. Top the ciabatta with a sprig of tomatoes, drizzle over more extra-virgin olive oil and serve with some mustard alongside, if desired.
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