Sunday, September 11, 2005

Lamb Chops, Herbs & Strawberry Salad

Lamb Chops, Beans, Herbs & Strawberry Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Marinate: at least 1 hour (I did it overnight)
Grill time: 20 minutes or so

Serves 4
(or if you’re like us – 2)


1 rack of lamb (I forget how much it weighed, sorry), have the butcher "french" the ribs for you. That simply means cutting off any meat and fat from the long parts of the bones and leaving the roast or meaty part in tact. Check out the picture on the right here for a visual.
1 cup full bodied red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 huge cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raspberry wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon type mustard - I used Kozlik's Lime & Honey
Mixed Spring Greens (probably 2 cups -loose, not packed per person)
Handful of fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or coarsely chopped
4 oz/100 g good feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 lb green &/or yellow beans
1 lemon, thinly sliced and grilled for just a minute per side when you're doing the lamb.

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large zip lock baggie and add the rack of lamb. It will fit! and marinate for at least one hour on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

2. Allow the lamb to come to room temperature before grilling - about one hour.

3. Wrap foil around each bone so it won't scorch during the grilling.

4. Preheat the grill and cook for 4 minutes per side on high to sear the lamb. Lower the temperature to medium, medium-high, and cook, meaty side up & covered, for about 15 minutes or so, longer if you like it well done.

5. Remove from the grill and place on a cutting board, cover with foil for 15 minutes. This finishes the cooking and relaxes the meat. I used to think this was a waste of time, but trust me, it really does make any meat more tender and juicy.

6. Discard the foil, and slice the lamb between each rib. We thought it a little underdone to our taste, so we just grilled the individual chops for a minute or two per side, which gave it a great sear and pretty grill marks, so I suggest doing this step regardless.

7.In the meantime, whip up the vinaigrette in a little bowl and blanche the beans. To blanche, just cut off the tips of the beans and add them to boiling salted water for 3 minutes. You want them to retain the crunch, lose the bitterness and bring out the color. Then strain them out of the pot and into a large bowl filled with ice water. This step keeps the color and stops the cooking. Drain and pat dry before adding to the salad.

8. To prepare the salad platter. Usually I make a salad in a bowl, but the magazine had a great photo of the salad on a platter with the lamb chops on top and I liked the idea. So ..... in a bowl to start, toss the mixed greens, herbs, beans, strawberries, grilled lemon slices and feta with the vinaigrette and then spread it out on a serving platter. Top with lambchops and serve. The sound of oohing will replace conversation for a while.

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