Juicy seared lamb chops with mint pesto is a flavor packed main course that comes together in no time. Pair this with your favorite grain and seasonal veggie for a well-rounded weeknight meal.
It’s lamb season
I typically get inspired by seasonal produce, but this recipe was inspired by seasonal meat. Around here, lamb is traditional eaten the most in the spring. Part of this may have to do with Easter. I definitely saw plenty of lamb racks in the market in the weeks leading up to Easter while I was testing this recipe.
Apparently lamb is most tender from May to June, so this post is still making pretty good timing. The summer is also a great time for leafy herbs, like the basil and mint included in the pesto.
Lamb + Mint
Lamb and mint are a wonderful, classic combination. I love pesto with all sorts of meat dishes, and thought a basil-mint pesto would be a great accompaniment here. Turns out I was right. This pesto has all of the traditional ingredients (basil, garlic, pinenuts, parm) plus a little mint and lemon zest for an extra zing.Print
Juicy seared Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto is a flavor-packed main course that comes together in no time. Pair with your favorite grain and seasonal veggie for a well-rounded meal.
- 8 baby lamb chops, frenched
- 2 cups mint leaves (plus more for serving)
- 1 cup basil leaves (plus more for serving)
- ¼ cup pine nuts (plus more for serving)
- 1 large clove garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup parmesan (parmigiano reggiano) cheese, finely grated
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Toast pine nuts. Heat oven to 325°F. Place pine nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toast 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Cool to room temperature.
- Take out meat. Bring meat to room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking.
- Make pesto. Add ¼ cup of cooled pine nuts to a food processer with the garlic and process until finely chopped and homogenous. Add herbs and a pinch of salt. Pulse until finely chopped. Stream in oil slowly until fully incorporated. Stir in cheese and zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a narrow jar and top with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent oxidation until ready to use.
- Cook chops. Heat a cast iron or nonstick pan over medium to medium-high heat. Pat lamb chops dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place in preheated pan and cook for about 2 ½ – 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve. Smear pesto on serving dishes. Top with lamb. Garnish with mint and basil leaves, and pine nuts (optional). Serve with a side of grains and spring vegetables, if desired. Enjoy.
If you can’t find baby lamb chops, try loin chops or even a lamb steak.
A good substitute for pine nuts would be almonds, walnuts or pistachios.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: Sear
- Cuisine: Italian, New American
- Serving Size: 2 lamb chops + 2tbsp pesto
- Calories: 640
- Sugar: 6g
- Sodium: 340mg
- Fat: 45g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 54g
Keywords: seared baby lamb chops, lamb chops with pesto, lamb chops with mint, lamb and pesto