Lamb with Mint Sauce with Gremolata Potatoes

Lamb with Mint Sauce    

Serves 4

Lamb and mint sauce are the perfect pairing of flavors for a spring dinner. Harvest plenty of mint from your garden to create this bright green sauce that has no resemblance to the traditional sweet mint jelly. The fresh flavor of the mint sauce complements the richness of the lamb beautifully. I love this sauce so much that I drizzle it on chicken, fish as well as steamed, raw or roasted vegetables.
I know you’ll love it, too.

2 (8 rib) lamb racks (about 1½ pounds each)
Kosher salt
Pepper, freshly ground
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup loosely packed, chopped, fresh spearmint
½ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pat the lamb racks dry with a paper towel and cut each rack in half. You can leave the racks as they are or you can create “Frenched” rack of lamb by trimming the fat and meat from between the ribs. Sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a large, ovenproof sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of oil until hot, but not smoking. Place the lamb racks in the pan with the rib side up. Sear the meat for 3 minutes or until browned. Turn the racks over and place the pan into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes for rare or 20 minutes for medium rare. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest, tented with a piece of aluminum foil, for 10 minutes.

3. To prepare the sauce, combine the remaining oil, vinegar and sugar in a blender with the chopped herbs and pulse until puréed. 

4. Cut to separate the chops and serve with
mint sauce drizzled on top. Serve extra sauce
on the side.

Gremolata Potatoes     

Serves 6

Gremolata is a traditional Italian herb paste that is a simple combination of five ingredients: parsley, garlic, lemon, Parmesan cheese and extra-virgin olive oil. With its bright, citrusy flavor, gremolata transforms ho-hum recipes into amazing dishes! Here I’ve combined gremolata with thinly sliced potatoes and roasted them to create a tasty side dish. It’s simple, delicious and gorgeous!

½ cup loosely packed, chopped, flat-leaf parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
2 small minced garlic cloves
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 pinch pepper, freshly ground
8–10 Yukon Gold potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray 12 standard muffin cups generously with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine the parsley, lemon zest, garlic, Parmesan cheese, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl, and set aside. 

3. Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly (about 1/8 of an inch) using a sharp knife or mandolin. Add the potato slices to the gremolata and toss to coat. I use my hands to be sure to coat the potatoes evenly.

4. Stack the potatoes to fill each muffin cup over the rim by about ½ inch. Press the stacked potatoes down firmly. Bake until the tops and edges of the potatoes are browned, and the centers are tender when pierced with a fork—about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven.

5. Cut around each stack with a sharp knife and remove it with a spoon. Serve hot.

Note:  These can be made one to two days in advance and reheated, covered, in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.