Because I cook for 30 people all summer long, it’s the amount I tend to think of when cooking for a crowd. I have managed to pare down when it comes to serving my family and making recipes for all of you, but when I’m serving a crowd, the amount always blips back to 30 which means that I have leftover lamb from Easter dinner.

Originally, I created the curried lamb meatballs with freshly ground lamb, but if you are like me and have leftover lamb that could do for another meal or two, it’s easily ground in a meat grinder or pulsed in a food processor. You may need to add another egg white to encourage it all to bind together well.

Another use for that leftover lamb is the “lamb”sagna with layers of flavorful ground lamb in between sauteed ribbons of yellow and green zucchini and topped with salty feta cheese.

Maybe the leftovers will also help re-create what was a perfect day of laughing and lingering over food and wine, children running freely in the just-turning-green grass, sated bellies and sun on our faces.

CURRIED LAMB MEATBALLS

The following three recipes work well solo, but are wonderful when served in combination. If you are feeling the need for more greens, it’s a simple addition to toss some baby spinach into the brown rice and lentils at the last minute. Spinach would also do well tossed with the peppers and the crumbled feta — again, last minute.

2 pounds ground lamb

3 teaspoons fennel seed

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Several grinds of fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients with your hands in a medium-sized bowl. With a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop out the meat and form into 1-inch balls. Space evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

ROASTED PEPPERS WITH CURRY AND FENNEL

1 red, yellow and orange pepper

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl, transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

BROWN RICE AND LENTILS

1 1/2 cups brown long-grain rice

4 cups low-salt chicken broth or 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup lentils

Bring broth to a boil and add the rice. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add the lentils, stir, cover and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until both rice and lentils are tender.

GARNISH: 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

The above three recipes serve 6 to 8 (or 4 to 6 with leftovers for a great soup).

 

“LAMB”SAGNA

I created this recipe exclusively for Agricola Farms in Union. We get all our lamb from them, and it’s wonderful.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground lamb

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 dried

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

4 zucchini or summer squash, sliced long-wise

2 tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large tomatoes, sliced

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb with the salt. Add the onion, garlic and basil. When the onion is translucent, sprinkle in the flour and stir for a minute or so. Add the milk and bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat.

Heat the olive oil in a separate saute pan. Add the sliced zucchini and summer squash and saute until brown. Set aside.

Layer half of the lamb, then half of the squash, then half the tomatoes in an ungreased 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Repeat with the remaining lamb and squash.

Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs and feta cheese over the squash. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is brown and bubbling (about 45 minutes). Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

 

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of “At Home, At Sea.” She can be reached at: [email protected]