Lamb Chops with Pine Nuts, Fig and Goat Cheese Salad
From Jenni Neidhart
This fresh salad is a great way to take advantage of the beautiful fall figs coming into season. You can either grill the lamb chops on the barbecue or bake them in the oven.
- 12 lamb chops, Frenched
- 1-1/2 T. fresh thyme, roughly chopped
- 1-1/2 T. fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 2 t. sea salt
- 1 t. ground black pepper
- 1 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1 clove of star anise
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 lb. mixed greens
- 1 small bunch of mint, leaves only
- 1 small bunch of Italian parsley, leaves only
- 3/4 c. pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 T. olive oil
- sea salt
- 1/2 c. chèvre
- 6 fresh figs, halved or quartered lengthwise
In a medium bowl, mash together the thyme, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the lamb chops to the bowl and rub the marinade into the lamb so it’s generously coated. Leave the lamb in the bowl to marinate, tossing every few hours. The lamb should be left to marinate for a minimum of four hours or overnight in the fridge.
To prepare the sauce, place all of the ingredients in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half and is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, take out the star anise and cinnamon, and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the lamb from the marinade and gently blot dry. Place the lamb on a baking sheet lined with parchment, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake it for 10 to 15 minutes until done to your liking. Remove the lamb from the oven and tent with foil to keep it warm and let it rest.
While the lamb is resting, combine the greens with the mint and parsley leaves. Toss with the pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Place the salad on six plates, crumble the chèvre over and place fresh figs on top. Put two lamb chops next to the salad on each plate; generously drizzle the lamb chops with the sauce and lightly drizzle it over the salad.