Sunday, November 9, 2014

Roasted Rack of Lamb Crusted with Pistachio, Rosemary, and Parsley Pesto

I haven't cooked a rack of lamb for A WHILE- it's little too expensive to earn a spot on my general rotation of proteins to buy, and then I forget about it completely.  But my mother-in-law bought extra and I got to take a rack home with me!  This was one rack, which serves 2-3 people, depending on their appetites.  My mother-in-law also gave me fresh parsley and rosemary from her garden (which is still going a little, even in November!), so I made a pesto with those and some pistachios I already had in the cupboard.  I just roasted it in the oven to save washing extra pans, but I think it technically would have been best to sear it, then add the pesto, and then roast.  But this was delicious, and I don't have a saucepan to wash.  I served it with Caesar salad with homemade dressing.  ...And french bread and a little red wine for a treat.

The pesto I made is more than enough for the lamb.  I only had a Vitamix to blend with and a smaller amount wasn't going to blend.  So reduce the ingredients if you don't want extra pesto, or make the whole amount and use the pesto for something else.  

What you need:

One rack of lamb

Pesto Ingredients:
1 1/2 packed cups fresh Italian parsley 
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves only
1 cup fresh baby spinach (this only got added because I needed more bulk in my Vitamix and had some to use up anyway)
1/4-1/3 cup pistachios
2 large cloves of garlic
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix until coarsely chopped. 

Place lamb in a small roasting pan (7" by 11" is pretty good). Trim excess fat from rack of lamb.  Spread the pesto on top of the meaty side of the lamb.  You should have a nice thick layer.  Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Let the lamb sit for about 20 minutes to come to room temperature while the oven heats up.  

Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes.  Mine was in for 25 and it was on the rare side of medium-rare.  Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before carving between the ribs.

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