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Lamb Loin Chops with Roasted Fennel, Tomatoes, and Olives

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is an easy dish to put together not long before serving; the colorful vegetables roast in the oven and when they are almost done, lamb chops are quickly seared on top of the stove.

When you take these fragrant roasted vegetables out of the oven, they are so glassy and beautiful, you will want to bring the skillet to the table. Serve the chops and vegetables with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a drizzle of basil oil, roasted garlic-black olive oil, or rosemary oil. This is a warming meal for fall or winter.

NotesOrder of preparation:

• Roast the garlic.

• Sauté and roast the vegetables.

• While the vegetables are roasting, cook the lamb chops and allow to rest.

Make-ahead note:

• The sautéed and roasted vegetables can be refrigerated up to 3 days (but they will be best if done just before serving).

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodroasting, sauteeing

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturemeaty, salty, savory, sweet

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 3 medium bulbs fennel, quartered and cored, bruised outside pieces discarded
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-size tomatoes, quartered, cored, and seeded; then cut in half
  • 4 cloves Oven-Roasted Garlic
  • 16 nicoise olives, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Confit, optional, or lemon zest
  • ¾ cup Vegetable Stock or low-salt canned vegetable broth
  • 8 lamb loin chops, 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon virgin or pure olive oil

Instructions

  1. For the roasted vegetables:

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  3. Fill a medium pot with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Blanch the fennel until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes, drain, and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.

  4. In a large overproof skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Sauté the fennel until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, olives, and lemon confit and pour in the stock. Place in the oven until the vegetables are soft and roasted, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. For the lamb chops:

  6. Season the chops oil both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until just smoking. Add the chops, reduce the heat to medium, and cook about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until cooked through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest 4 to 5 minutes. Divide among 4 serving plates and spoon the roasted vegetables alongside.

  7. Variation:

  8. For roasted vegetables, substitute Ratatouille or Confit Bayaldi.

    Serve roasted vegetables with:

  9. Simple Roasted Chicken

  10. Saddle of Lamb

  11. Rack of lamb

  12. Roasted veal chops

  13. Herb-Roasted Halibut

  14. Roasted Cod

  15. Seared and roasted tuna or swordfish

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