Potluck : Do You Feel Lucky?

With careful planning and a bit of time management, this potluck dish can be executed successfully. The meat and salad vegetables should be packed separately and arranged when you arrive at the party. The lamb can be grilled just before you leave home and carved in the host’s kitchen--or, if time and your host will allow it, you can cook the meat at the party.

Cooked sliced baby red potatoes, grilled Japanese eggplants, roasted peppers and fresh cherry tomatoes are marinated in advance. Bring along an oversized serving salad platter or shallow bowl, and a plastic bag filled with mesclun. At the party place a bed of the greens on the platter and arrange over it Nicoise olives, crisp sugar snap peas, Belgian endive leaves and the marinated vegetables. Top with the grilled lamb slices in the center and drizzle the basil vinaigrette over the salad.


1/2 pound small red potatoes


2 cloves garlic

2 cups sugar snap peas

2 to 3 Japanese eggplants

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Freshly ground pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 (16-ounce) jar roasted mixed peppers, drained

8 ounces mesclun or assorted baby greens

1 head Belgian endive, leaves separated

1 cup Nicoise olives

Grilled Lamb

Garlic-Mint Aioli, optional

Slice red potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in saucepan with salted water to cover and 1 peeled garlic clove. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove potatoes from pan with slotted spoon. Return water in saucepan to boil. Add snap peas and blanch until bright green, tender-crisp. Drain and cool in ice water. Cut eggplants in halves lengthwise and cook under broiler or grill. Cut into 2-inch strips. Slice potatoes.


Combine red wine vinegar, olive oil, basil and remaining garlic, minced, in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In large shallow glass dish, arrange in groups potato slices, tomatoes, roasted peppers and eggplants. Pour vinaigrette over vegetables. Cover and chill until serving.

At serving time, pile mesclun on large salad platter. Arrange vegetables on top with snap peas, Belgian endive and Nicoise olives. Carve Grilled Lamb and arrange in center. Pour remaining vinaigrette over all. Pass Garlic-Mint Aioli on side. Makes about 6 servings.

Grilled Lamb

1 small leg of lamb, boned and butterflied

1 onion, cut up

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Trim fat from lamb. Combine onion, rosemary, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and olive oil in blender container. Blend until pureed. Place lamb in 13x9-inch glass dish or large plastic bag. Add rosemary mixture and marinate in refrigerator several hours or overnight.

Remove lamb from marinade and place in greased roasting pan. Bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes. Finish under broiler or on hot grill about 15 minutes, until inside temperature reaches 130 to 140 degrees at thickest part of meat for rare.

Note: Lamb tenderloin may be used in place of leg of lamb.

Garlic-Mint Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 to 2 cloves garlic, pressed

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic and mint. Mix well.