Grilled Lamb Chops with Herb-Almond Pesto
In this dish the tangy, bright green pesto beautifully complements the rich flavor of the seared lamb chops. Serve with a sturdy Italian red wine or splurge on a bottle of Barolo for a simple but sublime midweek meal.
For the pesto:
- 1 1/2 cups (1 1/2 oz./45 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup (1 oz./30 g) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) lightly packed fresh mint leaves
- 3 Tbs. slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. red or white balsamic vinegar
8 lamb loin chops, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a hot fire in a grill.
To make the pesto, in a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, mint, almonds, garlic and 1 tsp. salt and process until coarsely chopped. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and puree to a thick consistency. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Set aside.
Rub the lamb chops on all sides with the 2 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high to high heat until seared and nicely grill marked on the first side, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill on the second side for about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Arrange 2 chops on each of 4 dinner plates, spoon a generous dollop of pesto on the side and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti