Seattle chef Tom Douglas hosts chef retreats and cook-a-thons at his country house in Washington state's Yakima Valley, a prime Syrah source. He sometimes makes this simple recipe, topping lamb chops with a red wine–soaked fig-and-olive relish to echo the flavors found in many Syrahs.
Slideshow: More Lamb Recipes
1 cup dried black Mission figs, stems removed (5 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small saucepan, combine the figs and wine and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the figs are plump, 15 minutes.
Drain the figs; reserve the wine for another use. Transfer the figs to a food processor and process until finely chopped. Scrape the figs into a bowl. Stir in the olives and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; season with pepper.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pat the lamb chops dry, season with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook the chops over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes total. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chops for about 4 minutes longer, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 125 for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb chops to plates and serve with the olive-fig relish.
The relish can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Washington state Syrah.
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