Rack of Lamb with Mint Pesto and Warm Gorgonzola Potato Salad
I know that there are many different ways of preparing lamb and pairing it with some unusual side dishes. While visiting friends in northern Italy I had the pleasure to help prepare this dish. Over the years I entertained many friends that took a liking to this and asked me for the simple recipe.
- 2 cups of packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
- 1 Tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Warm Gorgonzola Potato Salad
- 20 small new potatoes, about 2 lb
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 each 8 oz. lamb racks
- To prepare the pesto: In a food processor, combine the mint leaves, garlic, and pepitas, and pulse several times. With the processor running, add the vinegar and drizzle in the oil through the top and process until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and add salt and pepper.
- To prepare the potato salad, in a saucepan combine the potatoes with water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until fork tender. Drain, quarter the potatoes, and keep warm in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about3 minutes, until just cooked. If the pan dries out add a tablespoon of water so the mushrooms won’t scorch. Add to the potatoes along with the onion and chives and toss together in the bowl. Add the Gorgonzola and toss again. Keep warm.
- Heat a large non-stick ovenproof sauté pan over high heat until hot. No oil is needed! Using tongs, sear the lamb racks for 45-60 seconds on the loin side, until caramelized. Remove the racks from the sauté pan and spread on-half of the pesto over the top of each rack. Return the racks to the pan, place in the oven, and roast for 10-12 minutes for medium rare or desired doneness.
- Cut rack into 4 double chops and transfer 2 to each warmed individual plate. Serve immediately with warmed potato salad on the side.