Fresh herbs, crunchy pistachio nuts and the slight sweetness of caramelized cauliflower complement this dramatic, crusted rack of lamb. Serve with California Cabernet Sauvignon or a California Red Blend.
3 slices (3 ounces/85g) white sandwich style bread, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup (50g) shelled, roasted pistachios
¼ cup (15g) finely chopped parsley leaves
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) minced fresh rosemary leaves
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
6 ounces (170g) carrots,
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30g) butter
1 ½ cups (1 pound/455g) cauliflower florets
½ cup (60g) thinly sliced shallots
1 rack of lamb with 8 rib bones (about 1 ¼ pounds/570g), Frenched
3 tablespoons (45ml) Dijon mustard or other brown mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450° F (230° C).
Put the bread, pistachios, parsley, rosemary, thyme and the 1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is finely ground. Scrape the mixture on a baking sheet, and set aside.
Slice the carrots at an angle, into ½ -inch (1.25cm) pieces, and cut each piece in half lengthwise.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, cauliflower, carrots and shallots. Stir to coat the vegetables, and then cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Stir and turn the vegetables and cook them undisturbed for another 3 minutes. Stir and turn one more time. Remove from the heat and cover the pan.
Cut the lamb rack in half between the fourth and fifth ribs. Sprinkle the pieces generously with salt and pepper on all three surfaces.
Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the lamb, fat side down, and sear for 3 minutes. Turn both pieces and sear for 1 minute on each of the other two surfaces.
Place the lamb on a roasting pan, fat side down, and roast for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and transfer the lamb to a plate. Brush all three surfaces of each piece with the mustard and coat generously with the pistachio mixture. Keep the leftover pistachio mixture on the baking sheet.
Return the lamb to the roasting pan, fat side up, and roast it for 3 minutes or until the coating is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Put the pan with the remaining pistachio mixture in the oven for 3 minutes to toast. Transfer the nuts to a small serving bowl.
Reheat the cauliflower and add salt and pepper to taste.
Using a very sharp knife, cut between the ribs to make 8 lamb chops.
To serve, arrange 2 chops on each plate with a serving of the cauliflower. Pass the toasted nuts for sprinkling.