Food & Drink

Yes, you need more lamb in your life

Grilled lamb chops sound fancy, but they’re a simple grilled dinner.
Grilled lamb chops sound fancy, but they’re a simple grilled dinner. Joseph Erdos

Rosemary and garlic are traditionally used in Greek and Italian cooking, and I can’t imagine not using them both when marinating meats, particularly lamb. The woody perfume of the rosemary permeates the meat, creating earthy flavor. Greek cuisine also utilizes lemons to add brightness to dishes. Here, the lemon juice tenderizes the meat and brightens the flavor. Rosemary, garlic and lemon are the triumvirate of Mediterranean cooking.

I like grilling loin chops, which look like little T-bones. Rib chops also work well for this recipe, but the loin chops offer more meaty flavor. For a healthy side, I pair the chops with a spinach salad that includes cherry tomatoes, salty Greek feta and toasted pine nuts along with a simple vinaigrette. It’s a great combination of flavors to pair with grilled lamb, perfect for a healthy lunch or dinner.

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

6 lamb loin chops, trimmed of fat

1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1 sprig fresh rosemary, stripped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

Place lamb, lemon juice, rosemary leaves and garlic in a large, resealable plastic bag. Seal, place on a plate to capture any leaks and let marinate in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When ready to cook, remove the chops from the bag, scraping off all bits of rosemary and garlic. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Discard marinade.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high to high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper; brush with oil. Sear the chops for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Let the lamb chops rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 2 servings.

Baby Spinach, Crumbled Feta and Cherry Tomato Salad

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces baby spinach

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 ounces feta, crumbled

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Whisk together vinegar and oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and tomatoes; toss to coat. Top with feta and pine nuts; toss lightly.

Yield: 2 servings.