With spring quickly approaching (ok, I know it is officially spring but until I see some leaves budding, I’m reserving judgement…), lamb is the protein on a lot of people’s minds. And with Easter dinner on the agenda, many people look towards lamb as the celebratory meal. Lamb rack is a special cut, usually reserved for dinner parties with friends you want to impress. The rack is basically the “prime rib” of lamb; it has very tender meat, a lovely bit of fat, and is an all-around excellent cut. It can be cut into individual chops and grilled, or roasted whole, as in the following recipe. Serves four Ingredients 2 lamb racks, 1.5-2 lbs each, bones frenched 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp molasses 4 pc garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife 4 pc fresh rosemary branches ½ cup shelled pistachios, toasted 3 tbsp mint, leaves picked and chopped 2 tbsp Italian parsley, leaves picked, washed, and chopped 1 tsp lemon zest, minced 2 small anchovies 4 tbsp olive oil to taste salt and pepper Method In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic and molasses, then season with salt and pepper. Brush the marinade all over the loin of the lamb rack, and then place the rack in a bowl with the garlic and rosemary to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for six hours. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over a high heat. Take one lamb rack out of the marinade, then place it in the pan, fat side down. Sear for 4 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Turn the rack over and repeat the sear on the other side, before transferring to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Wipe the pan clean, then repeat with the second rack of lamb. Take a sheet of tin foil, and fold it around the lamb rib bones. This will prevent them from scorching while being cooked. Place the lamb racks bone side down on the baking sheet. Take the rosemary and garlic out of the marinade, then chop them finely. You’ll have to pick the leaves off the rosemary first. Add back to the marinade bowl. Mix together, then spoon the mixture over the lamb loin. Place the racks in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or an internal thermometer plunged into the thickest part of the lamb loin reads the desired temperature. Take out of the oven, rest for ten minutes, then remove the foil. Carve in between each bone and serve. To make the pesto, place the pistachios, parsley, mint, lemon zest, anchovies, and 2 tbsp of olive oil into a blender. Pureed the mixture until smooth, adding more olive oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper and serve on the side of the lamb rack.

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