Rack of lamb with warm apple and lentil salad

Mustard and rosemary complement rich lamb and earthy lentils in this elegant meal.

2 tablespoons coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 1½-pound rack of lamb
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 15-ounce can lentils, rinsed, or 1⅓ cups cooked lentils
1 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
2 stalks celery with leaves, finely chopped
¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, or cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Mix breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon oil, ½ teaspoon rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb, meat-side down, and sear until browned, about 1½ minutes. Turn it over and spread 2 teaspoons mustard over the meat. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mustard. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 140°F for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

3. Return the pan to medium-high heat (be careful: the handle will still be hot). Add shallots, the remaining ½ teaspoon rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until starting to soften, about 1 minute. Stir in lentils, apple, celery, broth (or water), vinegar and the remaining 1 teaspoon mustard. Cook at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and the celery and apple begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Cut the lamb into 8 chops and serve over the lentils.

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