This is a fast and easy Saturday night meal or weeknight meal.  It’s delicious, healthy, and doesn’t take long to prepare, best part, you wont leave the table feeling stuffed. The chickpeas are canned but they are treated so simply with just a few ingredients. The flavor has been enhanced by the addition of olive oil and a few fresh ingredients. This has become my new favorite salad. Something about the flavors that just reminds me of Italy. Simple, fresh and few ingredients.

The lamb rack was seared on a pan first then finished off in the oven. I kept the marinade simple as well, just a few herbs from my garden, some mustard and garlic. Now really is the time to get great lamb and local Ontario lamb is even better. Don’t be fussed by the aroma from raw lamb (not so much aroma with the fresh local lamb) it will disappear when you marinate the lamb – especially if you use lemon and olive oil. None of the aroma remains when the lamb is cooked. Try this, it really is a great meal for two or more for a special night or an everyday meal. As always – enjoy!

For the salad:
1 can chickpeas (any size)
1 yellow pepper (could use red or some other colour)
2 hot jalapeno pepper – diced fine
1 small red onion – diced fine
1 tomato – de-seeded and diced
1 stalk celery – diced
Herbs – thyme, rosemary, chives – your favorite herbs
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and let sit for an hour or so – taste, season and taste again

For the lamb:
1 rack of lamb – serves 2 with leftovers
Rosemary from 3 long stalks
Thyme leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs
6 cloves garlic, chopped fine or mashed
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard mixed with 1 tsp. chili powder – cayenne or something hot like harissa paste
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425F
Chop the rosemary, thyme and garlic – add to 2 tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl
Microwave this for 25 seconds twice letting the microwave stop between settings – do not do 50 seconds all at once, you will overheat the oil and make a mess of your microwave
Salt and pepper the lamb
When the oil is cool enough to touch, add the lemon juice and pour the mixture over the lamb and rub it into the meat
Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan (that can also go in the oven) or grill pan on high heat, when smoking, add the meat – fat side down. it will already have olive oil on it from the marinade and the melting fat from the lamb so no need to add any more oil to the pan – sear well without burning, reduce the heat if necessary – flip over and do the same on the other side
When both sides are seared, using a pastry brush or spoon, coat the rack with the mustard/cayenne mix and put in the hot oven
Leave the lamb in the oven for at least 10 minutes, then using an instant read thermometer (they cost about $12 so go get one if you don’t have one), check the temperature at the thickest (middle) portioin of the rack – medium rare is 145F so no more than that please, no really! Lamb is best enjoyed medium rare – also remember that it will continue to cook and raise another 3 – 5 degrees or so as it sits outside the oven
Tip: I will often take out lamb before time as we really like it rare, but if it is too rare, I will cut the rack into pieces (1 or 2 rib pieces) and quickly sear (maybe 10 – 20 seconds a side if 2 rib pieces) in a heavy bottom pan, usually the same frying pan I baked it in, before serving. No need to add any additional oil as the pan will have some as well as great flavor
Let it rest for 5 minutes, covered with foil
Racks typically come with 8 ribs so slice by two rib sections or individually, pour the drippings over the lamb – serve with the salad
As always – enjoy!

Lamb Chops7


Lamb Chops3

Lamp Chops5