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       Volume I - November 30, 2007

B-a-a-a It's Lamb
by Patty Liston

One of the first meals for two I ever made my husband was lamb chops. My mother used to make them with a wonderful mint sauce that made this typically Mediterranean meal, “pop”. So, imagine my surprise when my husband took one bite of the chop, slid the plate away, and said “never again”. How could he?

Since then, I have learned that as difficult as it may seem to us lamb lovers, there are those who don’t care for the animal. But, just for today, here are some recipes to whet the appetites of those of us who do.

Lamb Chops with Mint-Walnut Pesto
From Food Network Kitchens

4 (6-ounce) loin lamb chops
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons Mint Walnut Pesto, recipe follows

Position a broiler pan 4 to 6 inches from the broiler and heat. Brush the chops lightly with some of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Carefully lay the chops on the hot pan and broil, turning once about halfway through cooking; 7 minutes for rare, 8 for medium, and 9 for well-done. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.

Divide the chops between 2 plates and spoon about 1 tablespoon of pesto over each chop; serve.

Mint Walnut Pesto

2 tablespoons walnuts
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ounce crumbled feta cheese, about 1/4 cup
1/2 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, shaking occasionally to brown evenly. Let cool.

In a food processor, puree the nuts, mint, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. Transfer the pesto to a container, place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrient Value Per Tablespoon: 60 calories, 1 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 6 g fat (1 g saturated)
Yield: about 2/3 cup

  Download this recipe.

Grilled Lamb With Salsa Verde
Recipe from Giada De Laurentis

1/4 cup salted capers, soaked for 30 minutes, drained, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 (4 1/2 to 5-pound) butterflied boned lamb shoulder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Nonstick cooking spray

Stir the first 7 ingredients and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Set the salsa verde aside. Place the lamb in a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Rub the minced garlic, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes all over lamb.

Pour 1/2 cup of salsa verde over the lamb, turning the lamb to coat evenly. Use immediately, or cover the dish and remaining salsa verde separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Spray the grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the lamb until a meat thermometer inserted into the thicker parts registers 130 degrees F for medium-rare, turning occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a work surface and let rest 15 minutes.

Cut the lamb across grain into thin slices. Arrange the lamb slices on a platter. Serve the remaining salsa verde alongside.

  Download this recipe.

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