Broiled Lamb Chops with Nigella’s Mint Sauce

broiled lamb chops

Nigella Lawson’s mint sauce first appeared on our Easter table in 2003, the same year the Easter Egg Nest Cake made its debut, both recipes having appeared in the New York Times earlier that week.

Unlike the Easter Egg Nest cake, which we loved — really, we did — the mint sauce returned to the table every following Easter, the fresh combination of mint and parsley, olive oil and vinegar, capers and cornichons the perfect accompaniment to lamb no matter the preparation — roasted racks, braised shanks, broiled meatballs, pan-seared chops.

Bright green and fresh, this sauce bears no resemblance to mint jelly and tastes more like a salsa verde or a nut- and cheese-free pesto. It complements the lamb so well, but it’s the kind of sauce you’ll end up drizzling all over your plate, dragging your spears of roasted asparagus through, and mopping up with your bread throughout your meal.

When I began planning my Easter menu a few weeks ago, I briefly entertained the idea of borrowing my aunt and uncle’s spit, making a vat of this mint sauce, and inviting all of Niskayuna to our backyard for a Greek Easter celebration, whole-roasted lamb, spanakopita, and baklava included. A number of circumstances namely an upcoming move (just a few blocks away, nbd) led me to scale back. Most likely I will be serving my two guests these lamb chops, seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano, broiled for three minutes a side, a meal that takes minutes to prepare, one my mother often made for my siblings and me as children, something I still love today.

I hope all of your holiday preparations are going well. If you are menu planning, this board might offer a few ideas for Easter, and here are two cakes for Passover: Torta Caprese and Chocolate-Almond Cake.

lamb chops with salt pepper & oregano

broiled lamb chops on pan

ingredients for mint sauce

mint and parsley

pureed mint sauce

mint sauce in jar

A truly simple Easter dinner: broiled lamb chops with mint sauce; peasant bread; roasted asparagus; lemon-ricotta cheesecake for dessert (coming soon).
Easter dinner

Broiled Lamb Chops

lamb chops (rib chops versus loin chops if possible)
kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper
oregano

lemon wedges (cut the pretty way)
mint sauce (recipe below)

1. Preheat the broiler to high for a good 20 minutes if possible. Meanwhile, bring your lamb chops to room temperature (the 20 minutes while the broiler is preheating is fine).

2. Season both sides all over with salt, pepper and oregano. Place on a broiling pan.

3. Broil 3 minutes a side. Pile onto a platter. Let rest for at least five minutes. Drizzle mint sauce lightly over top or pass on the side. Serve lemon wedges on the side, too.

Roasted Asparagus

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cut ends off asparagus. Arrange on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper to taste. Toss. Arrange in single layer. Roast until edges are crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Nigella Lawson’s Mint Sauce

Adapted from Nigella Lawson, original recipe in NYTimes here.

Note: Original recipe calls for 16 cornichons — sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't. Didn't have them when I made the sauce most recently, and I didn't miss them. It's your call.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups loosely packed mint
  • 2 cups loosely packed parsley
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons capers
  • 16 cornichons, optional
  • pinch salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • pinch sugar

Instructions

  1. Process mint and parsley leaves in a food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down side of processor. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar, olive oil, capers, cornichons (if using), pinch each of salt, pepper and sugar, and process to combine. Taste. Add the additional tablespoon of vinegar if necessary (I always do) and more salt, pepper and sugar if necessary. Process again, taste, adjust, etc. Transfer to serving bowl.
http://www.alexandracooks.com/2014/04/09/broiled-lamb-chops-with-nigellas-mint-sauce/

Incidentally, I desperately need new sheet pans and have been browsing around the web for new ones. So far I’ve purchased one of these quarter sheet pans (this size: 13×9.625×1.375-inch), and I love it. Never thought I would use this size so much, but it has already been so handy:
asparagus

My mother’s lemon-ricotta cheesecake. So good. Will post recipe soon.
slice of lemon-ricotta cheesecake

24 Comments

  1. Aaaahhhh, you posted this just for me!! ;) I would eat lamb chops every night if I could A. Afford to! and B. If I could find the little buggers! The store I buy them at almost never has them, when it does, it’s just a chance thing. Sigh, I guess it’s so I don’t have so much lamb guilt on my plate…lol! and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE roasted asparagus….a little parm and a squeeze of lemon juice and the asparagus turns into something heaven sent! Happy Easter duckie! (Gardening away right now, last frost date not here, POOH on that!) Love, me!

    Reply
    • I did I did I did! I almost titles it: Lamb Chops for Laurie! :) LOVE parm on asparagus…should have done that here. And yes, lemon is key! Happy Easter to you as well! xoxo

      Reply
  2. I have had lamb in the past and I do not care for it. However, Once again you have inspired me to give it a go once more. Happy Easter to you and yours. and best of luck with the move.

    Reply
  3. Gorgeous pictures Ali! This looks amazing. And that cheesecake, I will be watching your blog like a hawk waiting for that recipe.

    Reply
  4. I am really looking forward tot he lemon-ricotta cheesecake recipe! I love citrus cheesecake and the “triple citrus” recipe an old coworker gave me is in time of updating. Great posts as always!

    Reply
  5. Wait, Easter dinner can be simple? ;) Haha. And so elegant and delicious! I love it! This is a great menu, I totally want to chase that sauce around the plate with some bread. 6-minute chops! So easy! And that cheesecake sounds killer, too. I can’t believe you guys have to move again! Even if it’s close, it’s still a big project…. I don’t know where you get your energy! Here’s to hoping it’s quick and easy for yall.

    I know I have directed my mother to your blog before, but will again — she raises lambs and always struggles with inspiration when it comes to preparing different cuts. So many wonderful options here!

    Reply
  6. Wow, a move again? You rock girlfriend, and you do make it look all so easy!!!
    We make these lamb chops so often on weeknights because they are quick, easy, and so good!
    But I am totally off the hook for Easter—we are off to BG to my parents and my mother has just bought a whole lamb from my uncle’s friend who raises them…..she deals with it and stuffs it and all that, I just sew it up at the end. ;)
    There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!
    Good luck with the move!

    Reply
  7. The grocery store must’ve gotten tired of me asking about lamb chops, went in there yesterday and they had lamb all over the place! tee hee! I can’t believe you have to MOVE again! I hope it’s to a beautiful place with a wonderful kitchen worthy of your incredible talent! XO! Post pics when you’re all in!

    Reply
    • Haha, I love it! It’s a sign…you to make this for Easter :) I know, moving is such a drag. I will definitely post pictures as soon as we are all in. The kitchen is well…funky. It has an awesome black and white checked floor but not so awesome newspaper. I will be doing some work. Happy Easter and big hugs! xoxo

      Reply
  8. I made the mint sauce as an accompaniment to the racks of lamb we served with Easter dinner yesterday. When I mentioned “mint sauce,” there was some skepticism as it brought to mind mint jelly, but it was definitely a big hit. I just wished I could have made the lemon ricotta cheesecake as well!

    Reply
    • Haha, I know, good ol’ mint jelly…I just can’t. SO happy to hear this was a hit. It’s such a great sauce this time of year, but I especially love it with Easter lamb. And the cheesecake is great to make all spring, too, so there’s still time :) Thanks for writing in!

      Reply
  9. Ok, you converted me. I tried the lamb rib chops with the mint sauce. We loved it. The mint sauce is key! I saw the loin chops next to the rib chops so I was a bit confused at which to purchase. Would there have been a noticeable difference had I went with the loin chops?

    We also roasted green beans tossed with lemon juice and Grana Padano, and made your batter bread in a muffin tin for “rolls”. ( The left over bread, I sliced in half, then fried in butter after making sunny side up eggs for breakfast the next day… yum! )

    Lastly, for desert… your Torta Caprese. Unfortunately, I do not think we got the almonds processed quite right. How would you describe the texture of this cake?

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa — I think the rib chops are more tender, but I don’t know for sure. It’s just what my mother has always bought, and what I have bought as a result, too.

      Love the sound of those green beans! And so excited you made the peasant bread rolls. Your eggs sound delicious.

      And, The cake definitely has some texture due to the ground almonds, and it’s both light and rich at the same time — how was the texture for you?

      Reply
      • The texture was crumbly and nutty…you knew there were bits of almond here and there. Me thinks that the next go around, I will grind them a tad finer.

        Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for Mother’s Day. Especially since you mum has left such a culinary imprint on you.

        Reply

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