Robust and succulent, lamb is a natural for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner. Here, its earthy flavor is paired with an ambrosial mint pesto that can be made practically in the time it takes to light the candles. There's more than enough pesto; use the excess on steamed vegetables or toss with pasta. In the spirit of the occasion, add some hearts of palm to your salad. For dessert, might we suggest red velvet cake?
- 4 (12 ounces) loin lamb chops, 1 1/4 inches thick
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 1/2 cups (packed) mint
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Position an oven rack so that a broiler pan placed on it would be 4 inches from the heating element. Preheat the broiler.
Drop the garlic clove through the feed tube of a food processor while the motor is running. Add the mint, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Lightly coat the broiling pan rack with nonstick spray oil. Broil the lamb chops for 4 to 5 minutes on one side, then turn and broil an additional 4 to 5 minutes (for medium-rare). Serve immediately with a dollop of pesto on top of each.
Adapted from "The Simpler the Better," by Leslie Revsin (Wiley & Sons, 2005).
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.