The shop turns out to be something of a treasure trove of things Middle Eastern (or possible Turkish - but I am not in the mood to be picky at this point!). The pavement area has a brilliant display of fruit and vegetables and I am soon collecting huge bunches of mint, dill and coriander which each cost considerably less that the rather pathetic plastic bags of herbs available in the supermarkets. They even appear to have Lebanese cucumbers (probably). I have researched them and they are described as smaller and sweeter than normal cucumbers and with a thinner, less tough skin. Wishing to avoid further disappointment and delay I convince myself that the small cucumbers on display are indeed of Lebanese origin and throw a couple into my basket. In fact the only thing I can't pick up at the grocers is the lamb fillet I need but at least I will have the satisfaction of looking disdainfully at the pathetic bags of herbs in Sainsburys when I call in there to pick up the lamb.
Scornful looks having been thrown at the supermarket herbs I arrive home and make the following:
Cucumber, Pepper and Lamb Salad.
Marinade the lamb fillet in some olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin and ground black pepper for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
Meanwhile, chop one red and one green pepper into very thin strips lengthways and then cut two Lebanese (!) cucumbers into thin batons (having discarded the watery seeds in the middle by scraping them out with a spoon). Combine these ingredients with one very finely chopped red onion, a cup of chopped mint and a half cup of each of chopped dill and coriander. The smell at this point is amazing!
Next cook your lamb fillet in a very hot griddle pan for about 2 or 3 minutes on each side (it should still be pink in the centre). Don't be tempted to turn the fillet or move it too soon but feel free to press down on it to get those nice chargrilled marks. When it is cooked, leave it to rest for 5 minutes and then slice it very thinly and add it to the salad.
Finally make a dressing with the juice of one lemon (add another half lemon if there does not seem to be much), some very good olive oil and a crushed clove of garlic. Season the dressing with sea salt and black pepper, pour over the salad and toss.
I propose to serve this piled onto Turkish bread spread with some fantastic hummus that I picked up at the Middle Eastern grocers.
Now all I need to do is get my car to start.