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Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops

Wandering the winding streets of hill towns in Umbria, Italy, will lead you to many trattorias where roaring fireplaces are still used to grill steaks, chicken, sausages and these simple rib chops, bathed with an olive oil and garlic marinade. The crisp, brown chops are best when eaten sizzling hot off the fire, so the Italians call them scottadito, or “burned fingers.”

Ingredients:

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 8 to 12 lamb rib chops, trimmed of fat 
  • Lemon slices for garnish (optional)  

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, rosemary, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper. Place the lamb chops in a shallow dish and brush them with the olive oil mixture, coating both sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Prepare a hot fire in a grill and oil the grill rack.

Using tongs, place the chops over the hottest part of the fire or directly over the heat elements and grill, turning once, until browned and crisp on the exterior and medium-rare at the center when tested with a knife, 7 to 10 minutes total.

Transfer the chops to warmed plates and sprinkle with salt. Garnish with the lemon slices and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).