Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. For
the tomatoes heat the oil in an ovenproof
frying pan (if you don't have an ovenproof pan, use a standard frying pan then transfer to a roasting tray before putting in the oven) and fry
cut-side down. Add the thyme and garlic
and cook for 3 mins until coloured. Turn
over the tomatoes, drizzle with vinegar,
then roast in the oven for 20 mins until
soft and caramelised. Leave to rest.
While the tomatoes are roasting, cook
the lamb. Season the meat generously
and heat the oil and butter in another
ovenproof frying pan. Place the lamb,
fat-side down, in the pan and scatter
round the garlic and thyme. Brown the
lamb really well, then turn over.
Baste the lamb with the pan juices,
then transfer to the oven for 10 mins for
lamb that is pink. If you prefer it more
well done, give it 5 mins more. Leave the
lamb somewhere warm to rest.
While the lamb is cooking, prepare the
bean salad. Bring a large pan of salted
water to the boil and cook the broad
beans for a few mins. Scoop them out
with a slotted spoon straight into a bowl
of ice water, then slip them from their
skins into a bowl. Boil the fine beans
for 2 mins, then add the mangetout and
cook both for 1 min longer. Drain, plunge
into iced water (this keeps their bright green colour), leave
for 1 min to cool down, then drain again.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, quickly
cook the shallots for 1 min until starting
to soften and colour, then add the fine
beans and mangetout. Cook for about
1 min to heat through, then toss in the
almonds and finally toss through the
Scatter the basil over the tomatoes,
saving a few of the very small leaves for
garnishing. Make the dressing by simply
whisking the oil and vinegar together.
Carve the lamb into cutlets on a board
with a very sharp knife (see tip, below).
You are now ready to plate up.
Place the salad to one side
of each plate. Line up three tomato halves
down the other side of the plate. Lay three chops on top of the
salad, slightly overlapping, with
the bones pointing in the same
direction. Drizzle the dressing around the
plate and scatter the small basil
leaves over the tomatoes.