My friend Sasi, who is originally from Sri Lanka, has a wonderful backyard garden full of hot peppers. Remember that great version of Z’hug I made last month using his Thai Bird’s Eye chilies? Well, they are back on the menu, but this time they are one of the ingredients in a spicy-but-cool-and-creamy sauce to accompany a leg of lamb I bought from The Shepherd’s Wife (AKA Tracy Riddle).

Lamb seems so appropriate in the fall—a tender and flavorful meat that pairs well with winter squash and fruity red wines. You might even give this dish a try with my Lemongrass Lentil Curry. If you grow herbs at your house, they should still be fine; in fact, cool weather usually gives rosemary, sage, parsley and thyme a bit of new life. So be sure to use them here for that fresh herbal taste. Dried just can match it in this dish. And don’t forget that any nearly-done-for herbs such as basil can be harvested, washed and processed with a touch of olive oil for freezing and use later on. No waste!

What I love most about this lamb dish is that many of the ingredients for the crust are repeated in the sauce. Your shopping list and prep time are simpler, and everything in the finished dish marries extremely well. Okay…the sun sets much quicker these days, so let’s get dinner on the table…


Not a meat eater?

Well, me neither. So that sauce also tastes pretty darn good with roasted veggies, like beets, sweet potatoes and carrots. Everybody has a place at the harvest table!

Or perhaps the Thanksgiving table, eh? I know turkey is sort of a sacred bird for the coming holiday, but isn’t it time for a change? This leg of lamb was not difficult to prepare–in many ways far less work than that big bird. A large leg of lamb, somewhere between seven and eight pounds, feeds 10 people. If you make the Lemongrass Lentil Curry a day ahead, then creating the main vegetarian side dish would simply mean reheating, and the curry feeds a shipload of pilgrims. Then, all you need is a seasoned baker to make that pumpkin or pecan pie! Be brave!