Lamb is a wonderful alternative to the classic Easter ham. This recipe can be easily modified to accommodate a rack of lamb rather than individual lamb chops, if preferred. I personally prefer the taste of the individually grilled chops but if I’m cooking for a large group, I find roasting racks to be more manageable. I’ve included directions below on how to proceed if you decide to go that route.
- 2 large anchovy fillets
- 1 small garlic clove, smashed
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 Kalamata or Niçoise olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp very finely chopped thyme
- ¼ tsp very finely chopped rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Twelve 4-ounce baby lamb rib chops (or 1 ½ racks)
- In a mini food processor, pulse the anchovy fillets with the smashed garlic and the lemon juice until finely minced. Add the olive oil and process the anchovy mixture until smooth. Add the chopped olives, thyme and rosemary and pulse to blend. Season the Provençal dressing lightly with salt and pepper and reserve.
- To prepare individual chops: Light a grill or preheat a cast-iron grill pan. Season the lamb chops generously with salt and pepper. Grill the lamb chops over high heat, turning them once, until browned all over, about 7 minutes for medium-rare meat. Transfer the lamb chops to a large serving platter, spoon the Provençal dressing on top and serve.
- To roast as racks of lamb: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper. Add oil to skillet, then brown racks, in 2 batches, on all sides (not ends). Transfer racks to a 9x13 roasting pan. Bake in center of oven for 15 minutes, then cover loosely with foil and roast until a meat thermometer registers 120 degrees, about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes (internal temperature will rise to 130 degrees for medium-rare). Carve rack into single chops and spoon Provencal dressing on top.