Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the American Lamb Board. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
A few days ago, we moved amidst a sweltering heat wave in Southern California. Our house is on a hill with quite a few steps so you can only imagine the workout. On day one, I fell asleep by 7pm and woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of crickets whispering in the quiet backdrop. But despite all of this, we are very excited for several reasons one of them being the ability to garden again (I missed my old garden in Oakland) and we now have a backyard to grill, smoke, and barbecue!
Between packing, moving, and unpacking, I lacked the desire to create an elaborate first meal in the house. When it’s hot my appetite tends to decrease. Instead, I opted for a quick lamb chop recipe where spices take the center stage and served them with a generous helping of ripe tomatoes and fresh mint. All these flavors go well in summer and we polished our plates off with a bottle of wine. I used American lamb chops and make sure you rub the meat and the sides well to get all the sides covered with the spice mixture. Opt for tomatoes that are either medium to small like the early girl variety I used here or even cherry and grape tomatoes. With the smaller variety of tomatoes, I don’t always cut them in half, that decision I leave up to you. Serve this dish warm with a chilled glass of limeade or wine.
spicy lamb chops with tomatoes and mint
Makes 4 servings
For the lamb
1/4 cup [60ml] extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes such as Aleppo or Urfa
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 American lamb chops (about 2 lbs [680 g] total weight), bone-in about 1 inch [2.5 cm] thick
1 tsp ground sumac
For the tomatoes
16oz [435g] early girl tomatoes (or your favorite tomato variety), halved
3 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
In a small bowl mix 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, black pepper, salt, Aleppo, and oregano. Rub this mixture over the lamb chops, and leave covered in a medium bowl or plate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven at 400F [200C].
Heat a cast iron or oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat well. When the pan is hot, add the lamb chops, sear on each side for about 2 minutes, till they start to turn light brown. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook till the lamb chops reach an internal temperature of 145F [62C], followed by a 3 min minute rest. Remove the chops from the pan and place them in a serving dish and cover with foil.
While the lamb rests, prepare the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a medium bowl. Add the mint. Add the olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and toss to coat well.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the sumac over the lamb chops and serve with the tomatoes.