Make Barefoot Contessa’s rack of lamb

Whether you're planning a family lunch or dinner for this spring holiday, there's no need to stress yourself over it. Here, seasoned cook Ina Garten offers simple, sophisticated recipes that make for easy entertaining. Learn how to make delicious classics like rack of lamb, orzo with roasted vegetables and sweet coconut cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

Rack of lamb
Servings:

Serves 6

Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 2 racks of lamb, “frenched” (see note)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the salt, rosemary, and garlic until they’re as finely minced as possible. Add the mustard and balsamic vinegar and process for 1 minute.Place the lamb in a roasting pan with the ribs curving down, and coat the tops with the mustard mixture. Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature.Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.Roast the lamb for exactly 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then cut into individual ribs and serve.

Orzo with roasted vegetables
Servings:

Serves 6

Ingredients

    • 1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
    • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/3 cup good olive oil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 pound orzo
  • The dressing

    • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
    • 1/3 cup good olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • To assemble

    • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
    • 1/4 cup pignolis, toasted
    • 3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
    • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

Coconut cupcakes
Servings:

Makes 18 to 20 large cupcakes

Ingredients

    • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
    • Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)
  • Cream cheese frosting

    • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
    • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. Cream cheese icingIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.Frost cupcakes with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Tips:

Cupcakes: I use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups.Frosting: It is very important that the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature and that the confectioners’ sugar is sifted to ensure no lumps in the icing.

TOP