Lamb Racks with Salsa Verde and Panisse
JBF Award winner Traci Des Jardins is known for her rustic Mediterranean-influenced fare that honors the integrity and quality of ingredients. When demonstrating this recipe to onlookers at Sur La Table in Boston for Taste America, Des Jardins highlighted those very flavors with her Italian salsa verde and explained that this versatile green sauce would taste exceptional with a slew of different herbs. Here, the acclaimed chef used tarragon, chervil, marjoram, and flat leaf parsley with a base of salty anchovies and capers.
- 2 to 3 racks of lamb
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- Maldon salt to finish
- 1 celery heart (with leaves), finely minced
- 1/2 bulb fennel, finely diced
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons capers, chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped anchovies
- 3 tablespoons marjoram, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Pure olive oil for greasing, plus more for frying
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Prepare the lamb: preheat the oven to 425°F. Season the lamb racks well with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, place the two tablespoons of pure olive oil into the pan and brown the racks of lamb on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
Place an oven rack over a sheet pan. Remove the lamb from the pan and set it on the sheet tray. Roast the lamb racks in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 120°F. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes in a warm place. (Note: we suggest the doneness level be medium-rare, so the internal temperature should be about 125-130°F.)
Make the salsa verde: in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the panisse: lightly oil a 9-inch square sheet pan or cake pan with the pure olive oil and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the water and salt until warm. Whisk in the chickpea flour, stirring vigorously until combined, about 4 minutes.
Switch to a wooden spoon and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, or until thick. Add the extra virgin olive oil. With a rubber spatula, place the thickened chickpea mixture onto the oiled pan and smooth it out so it’s even. Let the panisse cool. Once cool, turn the molded panisse onto a cutting board and slice into 2-inch squares. Note: This is best prepared a day ahead of time, but can be done a few hours before. It needs to cool thoroughly.
Fry the panisse: heat about a 1/2 inch of pure olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully added the panisse squares and fry until crisp and brown on both sides, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side.
To serve, place the panisse down on a large platter, cut the lamb into chops, and drizzle everything with the salsa verde. Season the meat with additional Maldon salt.
6 to 8 servings