Garlic-Rosemary Lamb Chops with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini

From guest blogger Ryan Shimabukuro, chef de cuisine of Bennett's Pure Food Bistro.

Mint and lamb is a classic culinary combination. I created this week's recipe with the idea of using that fresh, fragile flavor as a crisp counterpoint for the bold, beautiful sweetness of fresh vegetables.

I started with a marinade, which I wanted to be herbaceous and light with a hint of citrus. Then for the mint sauce, I didn't want just a traditional mint sauce. A little cilantro turned the sharpness of the mint a little greener, and some cumin and smoked paprika added an earthy, smoky flavor that goes really well with the oven-finish cooking style.

There's something undeniably summery about roasted cherry tomatoes for me. The same goes for roasted zucchini. So I tossed them, slightly dressed, in with the lamb while it finished in the oven.

Makes 4 servings

Lamb Marinade
1/2 cup rosemary
1/2 cup roasted garlic
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
pinch black pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Lamb chops, 8 bones

Mint Sauce
1 cup loosely packed mint
1/4 cup Italian parsley
2 Tbsp cilantro
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
pinch of cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 large zucchini

Purée the ingredients for the marinade and baste it onto the lamb chops. Reserve a teaspoon for the vegetables. Leave to marinate for at least a half an hour up to overnight.

Separately, purée the ingredients for the mint sauce and reserve.

Chop zucchini into half-inch pieces. Toss tomatoes and zucchini with a teaspoon of marinade. Reserve.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the lamb chops into two-bone pieces. Heat a bit of canola oil over high heat until it's about to smoke, then sear the pork loins quickly, about fifteen seconds to each side. Once seared, transfer chops to the oven for six minutes. Add the zucchini and tomatoes to chops and put back in the oven for four minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

For Bennett's, we sliced the lamb chops right down the middle between the bones. The zucchini and tomatoes had their own space on the plate next to some lemon-oregano potatoes we served with the dish. We spooned the mint sauce next to the other two components and lay the butterflied chop on top with the bones crossing over the vegetables.

Let us know in the comments if you try this dish! What did you use  instead of the potatoes we used at the restaurant? Or did you make your own twist on the lemon-oregano potatoes?
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Lover of big ideas and bold flavors. Food should be like family and friends: honest, fun, and fulfilling.

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