Za'atar-Crusted Rack of Lamb

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

A Middle Eastern spice blend used to season a host of foods, za’atar includes thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and sometimes other herbs or spices. Here, we swap in fresh thyme for the usual dried and rub the mixture onto racks of lamb before roasting to lend savory depth of flavor. This dish makes an impressive centerpiece for a celebratory meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of lamb, each about 1 1/4 lb. (625 g), frenched
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbs. sumac

Directions:

Season the racks of lamb generously with salt and pepper, then brush all over with the yogurt. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a small bowl, stir together the thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. Pack the mixture onto the meaty side of the lamb. Place the racks, with the seasoned side facing up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast until the crust is nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes, or until done to your liking.

Transfer the racks of lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve the racks into chops and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

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