Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tour of Italy ~ Day 13... Lamb in Lazio

We love this recipe. Here, lamb chops are presented atop a salad that was inspired by the flavors of Lazio and Sardinia. A perfect first course or a light main course. When studying the region of Lazio, it is usually combined with the other two neighboring regions of Abruzzi and Molise. These three central regions are as "natural as wool" , as stated by the author. Their legacies of tending flocks and herds are still a big part of their world today. Not much has changed, Lamb is still a big part of their mainstay as well as living off the natural and fresh elements of the land around them and often eaten with out embellishments. Their food is easy to prepare and very portable. In the Rome-dominated parts of Lazio, much of the food is dictated by the city's unique culinary repertoire. Much like the recipe found below.

Honey Roasted Lamb with Arugula Salad

For Lamb
2 tablespoons honey
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup mixed fresh herbs, chopped  (thyme, parsley, oregano, savory or rosemary)
1 1 1/2-pound rack of lamb, trimmed 
1 tablespoon dry red wine
For Dressing and Salad:
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon peel
  • 6 cups arugula (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

     Combine honey, 3 tablespoon oil, and 1/2 cup of chopped herbs in heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until just warm. Remove from heat. Pour 2/3 of honey mixture into small bowl. Place lamb on rack set in roasting pan; brush with half of honey mixture from bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or can be leftover night. 

    Preheat oven to 400. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil with 1/4 cup of chopped herbs and 1 tablespoon wine, pour over lamb and Roast lamb 12 minutes; brush with remaining honey mixture from bowl. Continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 125°F for medium-rare, about 10 minutes. Transfer lamb to cutting board. 

     Meanwhile add dressing ingredients  and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to honey mixture in saucepan. Stir over low heat until just warm. add pinenuts if desired. Season with salt and pepper. 

    Cut lamb between ribs into chops. Divide arugula and tomatoes among plates. Top each serving with lamb chops. Drizzle warm dressing over and serve warm.

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