Recipe: Lamb chops with parsley-pistachio pesto

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1D
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 10:05 pm

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes (for 2 batches)

Serves 4

Just a few simple ingredients – parsley, pistachios, cheese, oil and garlic – make a terrific topping for lamb chops.

Most loin lamb chops are small, weighing about 4 ounces each with the bone. One chop yields only about 2 ounces or less of edible meat. Look for chops that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick with just a thin layer of fat. Trim any excess fat before cooking.

It's preferable to pan sauté these little chops because it doesn't take long. But you also can broil or grill them; just don't overcook them. They're best medium-rare.

For most meals, allow two loin chops per serving along with a vegetable and starch. Try quick-cooking couscous for the latter.

Recipe from and tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Detroit Free Press.

INGREDIENTS

For the pesto:

2 cups fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/3 cup shelled pistachios

1/3 cup olive oil

4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Water as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the lamb:

8 lamb loin chops, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick

Salt and black pepper to taste (or favorite all-purpose seasoning)

1 tablespoon olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the parsley leaves, garlic and pistachios; pulse to combine. With the motor on, add the olive oil and process until mixture is smooth. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. Add water as needed so the pesto has the consistency of thin, grainy mustard. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use.

To make the lamb: Remove the lamb from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Trim any excess fat from the chops. Pat the lamb chops dry with paper towel. Season the lamb on both sides with salt and pepper or favorite all-purpose seasoning.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until just shimmering. Working in batches, place 4 lamb chops in the skillet and cook until nicely browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for a medium-rare that is more on the rare side.

Remove lamb chops from the skillet and transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 4 chops. Serve with pesto on the side or place a dollop on each chop.

Per serving (based on 2 chops with pesto per person): 392 calories (71 % from fat), 31 grams fat (6 grams sat. fat), 6 grams carb., 23 grams protein, 294 mg sodium, 74 mg chol., 2 grams fiber.

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