Hungry for a lamb chop that wasn’t grilled, Chef Peter Salaya devised this recipe for Niman Ranch lamb: He coats the chops with an intensely flavored herb-olive paste, then covers them with breadcrumbs. The chops are pan-seared to crisp the crust, then oven-roasted until done.
1Preheat the oven to 450°F and arrange rack in the middle.
2Put herbs in a food processor and add the bread cubes. Process until the mixture has the texture of fine crumbs. Transfer to a shallow bowl and wipe out the food processor.
3Combine olives, scallions, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, vinegar, and pepper in the food processor. Pulse until a coarse mixture forms.
4Cover each lamb chop on both sides with about 1 tablespoon of the olive paste. One at a time, press the coated chops into the breadcrumbs, covering both sides with a firm, even coating.
5Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops, in batches or using two pans if necessary, and cook until they begin to turn color, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to the oven and roast, turning once, for 8 to 9 minutes’ total cooking time for medium rare.
6Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.
Beverage pairing:2004 Chateau de Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph, France. This beautiful combination of flavors is very southern French, and the wine is a Syrah from just a little north in the upper Rhône. The wine is perfect because it greets all the flavors in the dish—lamb, olives, fresh herbs—and brings the flavors of blackberry and currants as well.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.