This appetizer features local lamb paired with the first harvest of Jordan’s spring garden and the bounty of our local mushroom hunters. Many of these mushrooms can be found beneath the oaks and manzanita trees here on the Jordan Estate. This local foliage, with its savory umami characteristics, is a perfect pairing for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.
6 Tbsp fennel purée
3 Tbsp porcini vinaigrette
¼ cup sautéed morel and porcini mushrooms
¼ cup fresh peas, quickly blanched
6 slices of spring lamb
4 Tbsp cumin pine nuts
Fennel frond and viola flower for garnish
For the spring lamb
4 cloves black garlic
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
½ sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp fennel pollen
4 sprigs tarragon
4 tsp Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 rack of lamb, about 1½ pounds
For the fennel purée
2 Tbsp Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 shallot, minced
1 fennel bulb, finely diced
1 tsp fennel pollen
1 tsp Pernod
1 fennel frond, minced
1 tsp tarragon, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Champagne vinegar to taste
For the cumin pine nuts
¼ cup pine nuts
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp ground cumin
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
Fleur de sel to taste
For the porcini vinaigrette
2 Tbsp Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tsp porcini powder
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 Tbsp porcini oil
For the spring lamb, combine black garlic, spring onions, yellow onion, fennel pollen, tarragon and olive oil in a blender and purée. Place the lamb in a non-reactive container, cover with the marinade and refrigerate for one hour. Remove the lamb from the marinade and reserve.
For the fennel purée, heat olive oil in a small non-reactive sauté pan. To the oil add the shallot, fennel bulb and fennel pollen; sweat until translucent. Deglaze with Pernod and cook for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Add fennel mixture, fennel frond, tarragon, salt, and pepper to a blender jar and carefully purée. Adjust acidity with the champagne vinegar, check seasoning and reserve.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Film the pan with olive oil and sear lamb on all sides (6-8 minutes). Place the lamb in the oven and roast until thermometer reads 130 degrees at center (18-20 minutes). Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest for a minimum of five minutes, prior to slicing.
Meanwhile, heat a dry skillet over medium heat for the cumin pine nuts. Toast pine nuts and cumin, tossing frequently until cumin is fragrant and pine nuts are golden. Toss with olive oil, ground cumin, pepper and fleur de sel. Remove from pan and set aside.
To make the porcini vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, shallot and porcini powder in a small non-reactive skillet over medium heat. Gently cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes until fragrant; reserve. Combine shallot mixture with vinegar and mustard and slowly whisk in the porcini oil to emulsify; reserve.
To plate, spoon the purée onto six small plates. Toss morels, porcinis and spring peas lightly with vinaigrette and divide evenly between plates. Cut the lamb loin and, at the last moment, brush lightly with olive oil and place. Garnish with cumin pine nuts, fennel frond and fresh violas.
By Jordan Vineyard and Winery
Jordan Winery sits in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, where the iconic Jordan Winery Chateau overlooks nearly 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards dedicated to agriculture, hospitality and conservation. Distinct among Northern California wineries, the majority of the vast estate has been preservedas natural habitat—an oasis where craggy oak trees dot the landscape, geese and ducks swim the lakes, and rabbits and turkeys roam the hills. Visit
Tastings are by appointment only.