Leg of lamb with figs and anchoïade

Serves 6

Anchoïade is a rough-pounded paste that hails from the South of France, consisting of little more than a handful of anchovies, walnuts, garlic and olive oil. It is best made just before serving in order that its flavour remains pure.

1 small leg of lamb
A little olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A bunch of lemon thyme
12 ripe figs

For the anchoïade

6 anchovies
2 cloves of garlic
24 fresh walnuts
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
A squeeze of lemon juice
80ml/3fl oz olive oil

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Rub the lamb with the olive oil, season generously with the salt and pepper, place in a roasting tin and scatter over the thyme, cover loosely with foil and place on the middle shelf of the hot oven.

Cook for 45 minutes then remove the foil and continue to cook for a further 45 minutes.

Now remove the lamb from the oven; it should be gloriously brown and tender to the touch. Rest in a warm place while you make the anchoïade.

Pound the anchovies, garlic and walnuts to a rough paste with a pestle and mortar. Roughly chop the parsley and stir into the paste, squeeze over the lemon juice and stir in the olive oil.

Once the meat has rested for 10 minutes or so, carve into generous slices, arrange on to six plates, tear over the ripe figs and spoon over the anchoïade. Serve with nothing more than a simple green salad comprising of slightly bitter leaves such as chicory and rocket.

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