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Aromatic Lamb

Today (3 June 2005) is the first day of the horticultural show which has quickly been established as the most colourful and exciting event in the Scottish gardening calendar - Gardening Scotland 2005 - at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh. Back for a 6th year the three day event features some 400 exhibitors and something of interest for all gardeners. Some 35,000 visitors are expected to attend the show by closing time on Sunday. Don't miss the display of some 10,000 blooms in the Floral Hall, the display of show gardens and patio gardens, and if in need of gardening advice , experts are on hand throughout the three days  as BBC Scotland's Beechgrove Garden and BBC Radio Scotland's Beechgrove Potting Shed host a series of programmes of interviews, demonstrations and question and answer sessions. Visit www.gardeningscotland.com for full details.

Food also plays a major part in the Show and the Food Pantry at Ingliston is where you will find inspirational cookery demonstrations and be able to sample delicacies to delight all palates. Many people, regardless of the size of their garden, like to have a herb section which will be very useful for this week's recipe - Aromatic Lamb.

Aromatic Lamb (serves 8)

Ingredients:  1 leg of lamb (about 4 lbs);  3 lb potatoes (about 5 oz each);  1 lemon (may be doubled);  honey;  olive oil;  butter;  rosemary, thyme and oregano

Method:  Put the leg of lamb into a large roasting pan.  Bruise the leaves of two or three sprigs of rosemary and sprinkle them over the meat.  Add plenty of pepper and one tablespoon of honey.  Rub the mixture into the meat with your hands.  Then rub half a lemon over the joint, squeezing the juice on to the meat as you do so.  Do not add any salt.  Leave to marinate for four to 24 hours.

Peel and quarter the potatoes, then arrange them in a single layer round the lamb.  Squeeze lemon juice over the potatoes, use at least half a lemon, or up to one and a half lemons for a strong citrus flavour.  Carefully pour pint water into a corner of the roasting pan, then sprinkle over the potatoes and lamb, about two tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, at least one teaspoon each fresh chopped thyme and oregano and some salt and pepper.

Drizzle on 1 teaspoons honey and one tablespoon olive oil, then dot with 1 oz butter.  Bake at 425F (220C) gas mark 6 for 1 to 1 hours.  The ingredients will become gilded and will burnish to a rich brown in places.  Lift the meat and turn the potatoes occasionally and, if necessary, add a little boiling water to the pan to prevent drying out.

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