My Favorite Dinner of the Week!

I have to admit, the carnivore in me craves a piece of roasted meat now and again. And since I don’t indulge that often, when I do, it requires a high quality piece of meat. To satisfy this craving, I opted for a Lemon-Basil Rack of Lamb. And of course, I also needed something worthy of pairing with my lamb, so I created a Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Basmati Brown Rice dish. Well it certainly worked out well because it was my favorite dinner of the week!

I marinated the rack of lamb in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary for about an hour before roasting it. I browned the fat side of the rack in an oven proof skillet and then moved the skillet to the oven to finish roasting until it was rare at 120°. Allowing it to rest while making a sauce, it continued to cook while tented with foil and was done perfectly for us. (130° for medium-rare with rest time) I deglazed the skillet with chicken broth, added a bit more lemon juice and some butter to finish the sauce. I then garnished the sauce with halved black olives and fresh basil. Yum!

What really put this over the top, was serving the lamb on top of the rice dish with the sauce drizzling down which made my cider vinegar scented rice absolutely ambrosial! Two dishes that can easily be paired with other offerings, each a delight on it’s own.

Lemon-Basil Rack of Lamb with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Basmati Brown Rice

Serves 2

Ingredients
 
Rack of Lamb
  • 1 rack of lamb, 8 ribs
  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 sprigs rosemary, bruised
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
Brussels Sprouts and Rice
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Instructions
 
Rack of Lamb
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine half the lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, rosemary, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt and some pepper. Pour it into a gallon size ziptop bag and add the lamb. Turn to coat with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
  3. Preheat an oven proof skillet over medium-high heat, for about 1 minute. Pat the lamb dry and season on the fat side with salt and pepper. Add enough oil to lightly coat the surface of the pan. Add the rack of lamb, seasoned side down to the pan. Cook until crisp and brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 120 -130° depending on preference, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour off most of the fat left in the pan. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the chicken stock, and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add half the remaining lemon juice and simmer until the mixture is reduced to a glaze, about 4 minutes. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the basil and olives and season. Cut the rack of lamb into individual chops. Turn each chop in the sauce to thoroughly coat.
Brussels Sprouts and Rice
  1. Heat a medium skillet and add the oil. Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add brussels sprouts and toss to coat, sautéing until browning on edges and slightly tender. Add chicken broth and cover pan to finish tenderizing the brussels sprouts. Add cooked rice to skillet and stir until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add apple cider vinegar and mix in.
  2. Distribute rice dish into two warm low-rimmed bowls or dishes. Top each dish with 3-4 chops. Top with lemon-basil sauce and chopped almonds. Garnish with additional basil.
Notes
  • Recipe can easily be doubled.

(click here) for printable recipe

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