Everyone knows Bobby Flay is the master of the grill, but he’s also a master saucier. These Grilled Baby Lamb Chops with Balsamic-Honey Glaze and Mint Pesto are the perfect pair. The glazed chops are delicious on their own, but—to borrow an overused phrase from one of Flay’s colleagues—the pesto really kicks it up a notch.  And the bright cool mint makes it the perfect sauce for summer.

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The Grilled Lamb Chops from Bobby Flay’s Grill It! (see recipe below) make a robust but elegant summer dinner party entree. Tender racks from lamb raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley are available at The Organic Butcher and you can easily carve them into chops yourself. The glaze—and the pesto—also would be delicious on The Organic Butcher’s whole leg. Leave the bone in and roast it in the oven, or butterfly the leg for the grill.

Savannah Bee’s Grill Honey is a varietal especially chosen for marinating and basting, with a flavor that will stand up under fire. When you add it to the oil and vinegar sampler from Baker Lane Vineyards/Stephen Singer Olio, you have pretty much all you need for summer grilling and marinating—as well as four of the key ingredients in Flay’s book. The honey/balsamic vinegar/olive oil trio is required for everything from Flay’s Marinated Pork Chops  with Blood Orange and Rosemary to Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Black Pepper Glaze, while the olive oil and red wine vinegar combo makes Sweet and Sour Grilled Chicken and Grilled Tuna with Fennel Orange Relish.  And while you’re trying Baker Lane’s samplers, be sure and order the Pinot Noir duo. The 2009 Sonoma Coast Cuvee Pinot Noir and the 2008 Sonoma Coast Ramondo Vineyard Pinot Noir are perfect foils to the grilled lamb with its pungent pesto, and both samplers are available at a 15 percent discount.


Grilled Baby Lamb Chops with Balsamic-Honey Glaze and Mint Pesto

 

Serves 4

 

½ cup aged balsamic vinegar

¼ cup honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

12 baby lamb chops

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mint Pesto (recipe follows)

Heat grill to high.

Whisk together vinegar and honey in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour half the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside for serving.

Brush chops on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place chops on grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly charred. Turn over and brush with some of the balsamic-honey glaze. Continue grilling for 2 minutes for medium rare.

Remove from the grill, brush with some of the reserved glaze, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve 3 chops per person and top with a few teaspoons of the mint pesto.
Mint Pesto

Makes about ¾ cup

1½ tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine parsley, mint, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until smooth. Add the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and process for a few seconds to combine. Scrape the pesto into a bowl. It can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

About Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a columnist at Garden & Gun magazine and a contributing editor at Elle Décor. She also contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times, and makes frequent appearances on MSNBC. She is the author of five books, including But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria, Adventures in Eating, Drinking and Making Merry and One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.

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