Grilled Lamb Chops
with Herb-Almond Pesto
(Costole d'Agnello Alla Brace)

Grilled Lamb Chops with Herb-Almond Pesto

Serves 4


Lamb is popular in the mountains of Abruzzo, where it is served roasted, in stews, and, of course, from the grill. The herb and almond pesto, I confess, is my embellishment. The bright green, tangy sauce beautifully complement the rich flavor of the seared chops.

  • For the Pesto
  • 1-1/2 cups (1-1/2 oz/45 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup (1 oz/30 g) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz/15 g) lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red or white balsamic vinegar
  • 8 lamb loin chops, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high.

To make the pesto, in a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, mint, almonds, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt and process until coarsely chopped. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and purée to a thick consistency. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Set aside.

Rub the lamb chops on all sides with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on the grill grate and grill over medium-high to high heat until seared and nicely grill marked on the first side, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill on the second side for about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Arrange 2 chops on each of 4 dinner plates, spoon a generous dollop of pesto on the side, and serve.

Wine suggestion: Nero d'Avola, a sturdy Sicilian red, or, as a splurge, Barolo from Piedmont.

  • from:
    Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian
    Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking
  • by Domenica Marchetti
  • Photography by Maren Caruso
  • Weldon Owen 2011
  • 224 pages; Hardcover; $29.95
  • ISBN-10: 1616281650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616281656
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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This page created January 2012

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