Grilled Rack of Lamb, Haricot Vert Amandine

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Herbed Hawaiian Red Salt
Mint Vinegar Sauce
Haricot Vert Tossed with Roasted Walnut Oil, Marcona Almonds

A special thank you to Peter of Kalofagas blog, and ultimately Bobby Flay, for the idea to crust the lamb with herbed salt. Here I took fresh mint, parsley and dill and blended in a food processor with Hawaiian Red Salt.

Hawaiian Red Salt
A small amount of harvested reddish Hawaiian clay called alaea enriches the sea salt with iron-oxide.
The traditional red salt originated on Kauai, where red volcanic clay mingled with sea salt during heavy rains. Evaporation created Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt.
The herbed salt looked like little jewels, watermelon tourmaline crystals to be exact. Beautiful!

The rack was removed from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking. It is massaged with fresh ground pepper and the herbed salt. (You can also wrap each bone with strips of aluminum foil to keep them from blackening).

Place lamb rack on the hot grill with a remote thermometer inserted into the meat. Close the lid and turn the fire to medium. It is important to watch as there may be fire flare-ups. If so, douse with a sprinkle of water. Turn the rack over once. When the temperature reaches 140 degrees (for medium-pink) remove the lamb from the grill and let it rest. Once the lamb was removed from the heat the temperature went up to 155 degrees while resting, then when it came back down to 140, it was sliced. I like to use the temperature to determine when the meat is ready to be sliced.

Very little of the juices were lost when slicing by waiting for the temperature to come back down. This method gave us juicy and smokey medium-pink chops exceptionally well-seasoned with the herbed salt and pepper.

In the meantime it is a snap to make a tasty mint vinegar sauce to complement the lamb. And to whomever it was that came up with the idea to pair not just mint, but vinegar too, with lamb, thank you very much.

The haricot vert are steamed then tossed with Hawaiian red salt, roasted walnut oil, and Spanish marcona almonds.
If you haven’t cooked a rack of lamb on the grill, you just might want to give this smokey version a try!

Pistachio Crusted Lamb, Pomegranate Glaze

Costata d’agnello incrostato con pistacchio
Con una glassa de melagrana

Pistachios and panko bread crumbs are ground in the food processor with salt, pepper, and olive oil to get the right consistency for encrusting the meat.

The lamb rack is seasoned then encrusted and baked at 350 for about 25 – 30 minutes. This lamb is cooked to medium, adjust cooking time to your temperature preference, then let the lamb rest.

The chops are sliced and served here with mashed potatoes. Drizzle the tangy warm pomegranate glaze over the meat.

On Lamb, Pistachio, and Pomegranate in Italy:

Easter Nears, And That Means…
Lamb in Italy: It’s the one thing you can be almost certain to find on the table come Easter Sunday.

Emperor Vitellius brought the pistachio to Rome in A.D. 50. He would finish off his meal by stuffing his mouth full of pistachios. Pistachios are currently cultivated as a commercial crop Italy.

The pomegranate made its way to Italy via Carthage (Punic), and therein lies the root of its Latin name, Punicum malum (apple). Its current botanical name is Punicum granatum with Punicum recognizing Carthage as a focal point for pomegranate cultivation and granatum referring to the many seeds or grains in the fruit. Many Italian Renaissance fabrics boasted the pattern of cut pomegranates. Ancient Romans not only enjoyed the succulent flesh of this fruit, they also tanned and used the rinds as a form of leather.

Lore and legends source:

Festa Italiana:

As much as I love to cook Italian food, I am, alas, not of Italian decent. And I was wondering what to bring to a virtual Italian festival?
I have no lovely memories of Italian childhood dishes. Mom, I remember your Creamette’s Brand Elbow Macaroni with Margarine and torn slices of melting American Cheese was actually pretty good…but, not quite the same as, say, Simona’s Pasta al Burro e Parmigiano.

So…I decided to make my own recipe, with ingredients that are possibly used in the Italian kitchen. Here it is: This is my contribution to the table at the upcoming FESTA ITALIANA hosted by Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita and Marie of Proud Italian Cook.

Grazie Molto! Thanks for inviting me 🙂

Happy to help clean up!