Orzo with Spring Pesto and Lemony Lamb Chops
This dish combining the rich flavor of lamb and the fresh taste of pesto makes it perfect for spring.
- 8 lamb rib chops (if the chops are running small, allow 3 per portion)
- EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling, plus 5-6 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta
- 1 cup rice
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley – 1 bunch
- 1/2 cup mint, a couple of handfuls
- A handful, 3 to 4 tablespoons, pistachios or pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced or grated
- A generous handful of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 lemon
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
Yields: Serves 4
Rub chops with a little EVOO and season chops liberally with salt and pepper. Arrange on broiler pan and preheat broiler.
In a pot with tight fitting lid over medium heat melt butter in a drizzle of EVOO. Add orzo pasta and cook to golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Stir in rice and stock and raise heat to bring to a boil. Cover pot and cook 17-18 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine parsley, mint, nuts, garlic, cheese, the zest of 1 lemon, salt and pepper. Turn processor on and stream in 4-5 tablespoons of EVOO to make pesto.
Dress tomatoes and scallions with about 1 tablespoon EVOO, then salt and pepper.
Broil chops 3-4 minutes on each side for rare to medium-rare. Squeeze lemon juice over top immediately after you remove them from the oven.
Stir pesto into rice pilaf to combine. Serve chops alongside pesto rice pilaf and tomato salad.
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