Lamb with mint-pistachio pesto

Pesto ingredients

It’s spring!  Think of all the deliciousness that comes along with spring.  There’s asparagus, peas and their shoots, artichokes, rhubarb, morels, favas, and fleetingly fiddleheads and ramps.

There’s also lamb.

Grass-fed and fresher than Will Smith.

I served this dish as the centerpiece of a four-course 30th birthday dinner, preceded by roasted asparagus (sprinkled with bacon and pine nuts), a truffled mushroom and boursin flatbread, and followed by this meyer lemon custard.  I may have set off the smoke alarm (this is what happens if your lamb fat renders itself down onto the floor of your oven), but it was totally worth it.

Yep… another pesto.  Why limit yourself to basil when there are so many possibilities?  Y’all will be seeing another several pestos pop up on this here blog.

Yeah spring!

♫ Suggested listening: something for spring.

Click to listen: Ella Fitzgerald – “April in Paris” (yes, I know it’s May)

This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma.  Here’s how to make it if you’re cooking for 6.


  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup shelled, salted, and roasted pistachio nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese (leave out if Paleo-ing or otherwise avoiding cheese)
  • 12 small lamb rib chops, Frenched.  Ooh la la.


In a food processor , combine the mint, parsley, pistachio nuts, garlic, and 1/2 cup olive oil and process until blended, but still retains some texture.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the grated cheese. You should have about 3/4 cup pesto.

If broiling: preheat the broiler.  On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange the lamb chops in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Broil until well-browned on both sides, flipping once, about 3 minutes per side or until both sides are done to your liking (3 minutes may not sound like a lot, but it was enough).

Put two chops on each plate and top with pesto.  Serve additional pesto in a bowl with a little spoon if you like, or save it for something else.

….And this is how my photo turned out.  I am bummed.  I guess I will have to make this again and photograph it better!

Final lamb

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