Sunday, April 05, 2009


"The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air."
~ Robert Burns

~ Simple daisy
~ Spring lamb sings April and Easter and this red currant sauce is a lovely compliment.
3 1/2 lbs. 'Frenched'* rack of lamb
(*have butcher trip meat from tips for easy serving)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves freshly chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (1 tsp.dried)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped oregano (1 tsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary (1 tsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped thyme (1 tsp. dried)
juice of 2 lemons
fresh rosemary springs
  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
  • Rub room temperature lamb with olive oil and garlic. Sprinkle with the combined herbs and salt & pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Rub with garlic.
  • Arrange on rack and roast 25 minutes for medium rare (130-135 degrees). Tent and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. (serves 8)

1 cup port
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
matchstick strips of orange peel
1 cup red currant jelly
6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice plus zest
matchstick strips of lemon peel
Combine port, orange juice, jelly, lemon juice and citrus peels in saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes or a bit longer.
Serve with sliced lamb chops garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs.

Note: Since April is Michigan wine appreciation month, pair the rack of lamb with Willow Vineyard 2003 Pinot Noir ( or Chateau Chantal 2004 Proprietor's Reserve Pinot Noir (

~ Great complimentary side from Barefoot Contessa
1 (3 lb.) head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
3 Tbsp AP flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook cauliflower florets in large pot of boiling salted water for 5-6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour hot milk into butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 tsp. salt and pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of Gruyere, and the Parmesan cheese.
  • Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8x11x2-inch baking dish. Place drained cauliflower on top and spread rest of sauce evenly on top. Combine bread crumbs with remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature. (6 servings)


bg_garden said...

Daisies in April? Not in my neck of the woods. I can't wait till June to enjoy those in my garden.
Lamb looks yummy - I have been wanting to try some at home in my kitchen. Maybe I will use your recipe. I saw a yummy dish with the Lamb yesterday morning on the Food Network that got me thinking I maybe able to tackle this! I might have to give it a try.
Happy Sunday Dear Joey!

Pat said...

"April is Michigan wine appreciation month" ?
Now that's too special for wine lovers !

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Beautiful daisy images Joey - such a treat to see.

joey said...

They are not blooming here yet either, Bren, but have been chosen as the April flower of the month. These are past blooms and hopefully future if it ever stops snowing! This lamb recipe is very easy ... do hope you give it a try.

Oh yes, Patsi, and Michigan has some very fine offerings! Our wine country is very picturesque, a wonderful place to visit ~ many photos on my blog.

Brenda Pruitt said...

Today both our posts are about daisies! Great minds think alike!

Rose said...

Lovely collages of daisies, Joey. I was so happy last summer when I was finally able to get some to grow here.

Go, MSU! I don't know if you're a fan or not, but I'm thrilled for them; they've represented the Big Ten well. I may be an Illini fan, but I like Tom Izzo and think he's a classy coach. And no true blue-and-orange fan would ever root for North Carolina:)

Anonymous said...

I love daisies and they're one of my favourite flowers to photograph. I love your montages...very springy! The recipes, as always, sound delicious!

joey said...

Indeed, Brenda! Your post was lovely.

Thanks, Rose ... a garden does not seem like a garden without daisies! Oh yes ... Go MSU ... and wasn't last night's game awesome? The best is that it's an awesome event for Detroit and burbs :) Tomorrow night the whole metro-area will be rockin' (a shame we have a weather advisory for 2-11 inches of snow, depending :(

I agree, Nancy, and thank you ... daisies are indeed fun to photograph. Can't wait to see mine pop :)

joey said...

Thank you, Karen ... hope your garden is 'springing' along :) Snow in the forcast here for tomorrow ... 3-11 inches, depending ... Yipee :(

Debra Howard said...

Wow, those are gorgeous pics. You truly have talent. Great blog too.

joey said...

Thank you for the kind comment, Debbie. I'm blog hoppin' over for a visit!

spookydragonfly said...

Wish I had daisies in April! Your top collage is just have an eye for art!

Nutty Gnome said...

Gorgeous photos Joey, as usual! I love daisies, they're such a happy flower. We won't get them for another month or so here, so seeing the photos has brightened my day!
That lamb recipe sounds seriously scrummy. Can't wait to try it!

F Cameron said...

Such gorgeous, pure daisies! :-)


joey said...

Thank you, Kim. No white daisies blooming here yet either ... but lots of white snow!

Hi Cameron and thanks ... hope your spring weather is nicer than ours :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey, I printed out the
CAULIFLOWER GRATIN recipe to try. Sounds good.

Lovely daisies.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey, I printed out the
CAULIFLOWER GRATIN recipe to try. Sounds good.

Lovely daisies.

joey said...

Enjoy Marnie (Ina's recipes are good) ~ hope you were spared waking to this white blanket of snow!

joey said...

Hi Nutty ~ with our wicked weather today, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever see my daisies blooming :) Enjoy the lamb ~ a favorite recipe of many.

marmee said...

good day joey,

i am always amazed how you do it, recipes, quotes.
bravo dear joey. this all sounds wonderful. i will be trying the cauliflower this week i hope...we had lamb chops last night. my hubby love lamb. we are looking into getting some sheep for our pasture land.

joey said...

How kind, Marmee. You are an amazing woman yourself :) I especially crave spring lamb, which suits the season. The pastoral look of grazing sheep is beautiful ~ then to think of them on a plate :(

Cyndee Greene said...

Wow! You don't look or blog like a ho hum house wife! And your recipes are to die for!
How fun to have found you!

Connie said...

I Love lamb! thanks for the recipe.
That fist collage with the daisy super-imposed in the center is stunning. Visiting your blog is always a treat for the eyes and the palate.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi Joey

Thats a nice collage. Funny thing the daisy. It is actually beautiful. When it's a big aster or self seeding mexican daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus)we love it, but if it's growing in the lawn......


joey said...

How kind, Cyndee! Thank you for stopping by and please do return ... always something cookin'!

Thank you, dear Connie. I also love lamb (and pheasant :) with several recipes of each posted here.

I hear you, Rob! The lovely Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) is a European import (thank you) that grows everywhere, often along the roadside, pastures, and fields.

Unknown said...

I love the pristine joy of daisies, Joey. And the rack of lamb and cauliflower definitely wins over the lobster dawg. Heh.

joey said...

Hi jodi~ it's a good thing daisies are cute 'cause I don't like the smell ... kind of like disguising the sweet ocean scent of lobster in a corn dawg!