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Saturday, May 23rd


Restaurants Malta - Paradise Found

Paradise Found

Gilles Charpy's Lamb Loin with a Tapenade Crust - Written by Mona Farrugia

Mona Farrugia patiently stands by and writes while 1-star Michelin chef Gilles Charpy cooks this beautiful lamb at the Coco Palm Bodu Hithi Resort in the Maldives.

Gilles Charpy's Lamb Loin with a Tapenade Crust - Written by Mona Farrugia


Main Ingredient Lamb
Preparation Time 5-15 minutes
Cooking Time 15 mins
Course Main: Meat
Recipe Serves 1
Recipe Type Modern: French
Gilles Charpy does not speak English. He speaks French. And, as a 1-star Michelin chef in France, he also speaks the international language of food so we could communicate easily.

Normally I do not post recipes when I am slap bang in the middle of heaven on earth, surrounded by turquoise and with fish for best friends. In this case I am making an exception because I just realised that Easter is in a few days and this is a life-saver recipe: easy, scrumptuous and can serve as many people as you would like it to, which is why I am giving the ingredients per person.

Per person you need:

1 loin of lamb

1 heaped tablespoon of olive tapenade (you can make your own mixing black olives, garlic and some chilli but you can also buy some great Sicilian stuff in a jar)

1 tablespoon White breadcrumbs or crushed almonds or hazelnuts or finely chopped pistachio

Olive oil



Season the lamb loin in salt and pepper then roll in some good olive oil.

Heat a thick bottomed frying pan and seal the lamb on all sides according to your tastes. I prefer my lamb pink but if you want to eat the sole of a shoe and cook until it is a dark brown it is up to you (now you know why I need to write disclaimers for Gilles such as 'written by Mona Farrugia'). This should take you around 3 - 4 minutes according to the size of the loin.

Take the loin out, handling with some tongs, smear a thick, 3mm layer of tapenade into the top/presentation part. Press tis part, which is now moist with the tapenade, into the breadcrumbs or nuts.

Seal again quickly, breakcrumb or nut side down into the frying pan. Slice diagonally with a very good knife. Serve immediately on heated plates.


Gilles serves this with some zucchini rolls: first he mandolins (finely slices - you can also use the slicer on a grater) some zucchini, quickly blanches them in boiling water, then quickly dips these into very cold water so that they keep their colour. He then rolls them, roly-poly style, around some chevre (salted goat's cheese) which has been crushed with very finely chopped carrot. You can also use a mix of gbejniet tal-halib and gbejniet moxxi (also my addition not Gilles'...obviously).

Gilles also serves some finely sliced oyster mushrooms which he cuts into fine strips and sautees in butter and parsley.

Shopping Tips
The best lamb is either from Malta itself or, if you are short of a friendly farmer, from Zammeats at Arkadia. They stock the Scottish milk-fed Millers of Speyside - a lesson in soft and sweet tasting lamb.


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