I have always liked the taste of lamb, the slight gaminess and richness. Lamb chops are something my mom has always made for our family. Traditionally though, they are served with mint jelly. While I do like mint… and herbs in general with lamb; I am not a mint jelly fan.
As an alternative these chops are served with a mint and walnut pesto, which picks up on the great combination of mint, rosemary and lamb without the cloying sweetness and artificial taste of commercial mint jelly.
Grilled Lamb with Mint and Walnut Pesto
8 single lamb chops
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large fresh rosemary sprigs
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 small garlic clove, peeled
2 1/4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in large bowl; turn lamb to coat with oil. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Blend first 5 ingredients in processor to coarse puree, occasionally scraping down sides of processor. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.
Heat a grill or grill pan ( I actually used the grill pan) over high heat. Add lamb chops with rosemary garlic mixture. Cook for 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Serve with pesto.