Chicagoans know that beautiful warm, summer days are on the horizon when Green City Market returns to its outdoor space in Lincoln Park. With May 2 marking the return of the outdoor market, Green City Market can serve as the inspiration for a delicious Mother’s Day meal.
Embarking on its 17th season, Green City Market opens at 7 am and runs until 1 pm every Wednesday and Saturday at its outdoor location. Green City Market is located in Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark). Featuring 54 returning farmers and vendors, the market will add new vendors, 1871 Dairy, Froggy Meadow Farm and Moss Funnel Farms.
Providing organic and sustainably raised products, Green City Market is a favorite amongst Chicago’s top chefs, residents and visitors. Green City Market values farmers who take care of the land; the preservation of sustainably farmed land; a vibrant thriving community of local farms; and consumption of locally grown foods.
To highlight the amazing offerings at Green City Market, the Green City Market Cookbook shares chefs’ stories and recipes. Chicago Chef and Green City Market Board Member, Carrie Nahabedian shares a favorite recipe that would be delicious for a Mother’s Day celebration.
Roast Leg of Lamb in Garlic-Mint Marinade with Pea Shoot Salad from The Green City Market Cookbook
My mother, Helen, roasted a leg of lamb some Sundays for supper following church. She always put so much care and attention into her cooking that she didn’t even realize how detailed her effort was. For example, she would squeeze a lemon over the lamb and then make small incisions in the meat and insert slivers of garlic. Under the leg of lamb, she would place small new potatoes, onions, and more garlic for added flavor. Finally, she made a great pan jus with the delicious lamb drippings. Our family is Armenian, so lamb is a major part of our culture, heritage, and life! –Carrie Nahabedian, chef/owner, Naha and Brindille; Green City Market board member
Prep time: 25 minutes
Standing time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes 8 servings
For the Lamb:
1 (4-5-lb) whole bone-in leg of lamb
Kosher salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
24 medium-sized firm new red potatoes, halved (if the potatoes are small, use more and leave them whole)
¼ cup olive oil, divided
4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
⅓ cup white or red wine
For the Pea Shoot Salad:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
3 ounces (about 4 cups) fresh pea shoots
Shaved radishes (optional)
To make the Lamb:
1. Butterfly the lamb and remove the bone, excess fat, heavy silverskin, and tendons. Sprinkle the inside and outside of the lamb generously with salt and black pepper. Rub the mint and garlic over the inside and outside of the lamb. Roll the lamb up and tie with kitchen string. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
3. In a large, shallow roasting pan, place the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Toss well. Place the thyme sprigs (if using) over the potatoes. Add the garlic to the pan. Place the lamb over the potatoes and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over lamb. Roast until nicely browned, about 15 minutes.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue roasting for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes (depending on the size of the lamb), until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat registers 130°F. Remove from the oven.
5. While the lamb is roasting, test the potatoes by piercing them with a fork. When they are tender, transfer them to a bowl and keep warm.
6. Transfer the lamb to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
7. Place the pan full of drippings over 1 or 2 burners on the stovetop. Add the wine and cook over medium-high heat, scraping the drippings from bottom of pan. Add a splash of water, if needed, and bring to a boil. Stir in any juices from the lamb platter. Remove from the heat but keep warm for serving.
To make the Pea Shoot Salad:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add the pea shoots and radishes (if using) and toss well.
1. Carve the lamb into slices and serve with the warm potatoes and pan juices. Garnish with the salad.
Reprinted with permission from The Green City Market Cookbook, Agate Publishing, 2014.