For perfect lamb, first cook the chops for roughly 2 minutes per side on medium-high heat, until each side is gorgeously caramelized. And then, roast the lamb.
- 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and toasted
- 1/2 cup pitted Cerignola olives
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested
- One 8-pound rack of lamb
- Salt to taste
To make the pistachio tapenade:
1. In a food processor combine the pistachios, olives, capers, garlic, herbs and puree. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until the mixture becomes a paste.
2. Add the zest and pulse 1 more time, drizzling in more oil if necessary.
3. Reserve until ready to use.
To make the lamb:
1. Remove 2 rib bones from the 8 rib rack to make it a 6-rib rack. Counting from either end remove the 2nd and 7th bone. This will create 6 even chops that are thicker than a normal lamb chop.
2. Cut 6 even chops and season them generously with salt and allow them to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
4. Coat a large sauté pan generously with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the lamb chops and cook for about 2 minutes on each side to brown. If the pan begins to smoke, lower the heat. The chops should be beautifully caramelized on both sides.
5. Remove the chops to a sheet pan and schmear generously with the pistachio tapenade.
6. Place in preheated oven and cook another 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare.
7. Remove chops from oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.