Tender rack of lamb only gets better with a spoonful of pesto made from fresh mint, basil, and almonds.
Yields: 4 Servings
Almond Mint Pesto
¼ cupunsalted raw almonds, toasted
¼ cupfreshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
⅓ cupalmond oil
4 tbsppanko breadcrumbs, browned in clarified butter
1 ½ cupfresh chocolate or pineapple mint leaves
½ cupfresh Thai basil leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, sliced
For the Lamb
2 American Lamb racks, frenched
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbspextra-virgin olive oil
2 tbspDijon-style mustard
⅓ cuppanko breadcrumbs (see Note)
1 tspminced fresh parsley
1 tspminced rosemary
1To make the Almond Mint Pesto: Add the almonds, cheese, almond oil, and bread crumbs to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pureed. Add the mint, basil, and garlic and process to a smooth texture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2To make the lamb: Preheat the oven to 380°F. Season the lamb racks with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Sear the meat for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Place the pan with the lamb in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Leave the oven on.
3Remove the pan from the oven and let the racks cool slightly. Coat the lamb with 1 tablespoon mustard.
4Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon mustard with the 1/3 cup panko, parsley, and rosemary. Press the mixture on the lamb firmly so it sticks to the meat. Return the pan to the oven to roast for an additional 5 to 8 minutes so the coating forms a crust over the lamb. Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
5Carve the lamb into chops and serve with a dollop of Almond Mint Pesto.
6Note: For the lamb, place the panko breadcrumbs in a food processor and pulse until fine.
Recipe and image provided by the American Lamb Board
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