1 (3 to 4 lb.) rolled boneless lamb roast
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup minced ginger root
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 oz. dried apricots
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
Open rolled roast. Sprinkle with garlic, gingerroot and cranberries. Arrange apricots in single layer over roast. Sprinkle mint over apricots. Roll roast tightly and secure with string or skewers. Place roast on a rack in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hrs. or until lamb is tender. Slice and serve hot.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups pearled barley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 pound (1 bunch) asparagus, rough stalks trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges, for serving
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley and thyme, and cook, stirring, until the barley is just golden, about 2 minutes more.
Transfer the barley mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker, and add the broth, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover, and cook on high until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 3 hours.
Discard the thyme, and stir in the asparagus. Return the lid to the pot, and cook until the asparagus is tender, 30 minutes more. Stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Thin out the risotto to the desired consistency with warm water, as needed. Fold in the parsley and mint, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.