Rack of Lamb and Pistachio Mint Pesto


From executive chef James Henderson, Oak Pointe Country Club, Brighton, Mich.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 frenched rack of lamb (3 pounds)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pistachio Mint Pesto (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet with a heat-proof handle over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the rack of lamb with salt and pepper to taste. Add the lamb to the skillet, fat side down, and sear it until browned, 2 or 3 minutes. Turn over and sear the other side.

Place the skillet in the oven and roast until the lamb is medium-rare, about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125 to 130 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into chops. Serve with Pistachio Mint Pesto.

Yield: 6 servings


4 cups fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine mint leaves, pistachios, garlic, lemon zest, and olive oil in a food processor. Blend until the mixture is almost smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until using.

CHEF’S TIP: “To keep pesto green and fresh, pour a little olive oil over the top layer and freeze it in a tight jar for up to two months.” 


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