Rack of Lamb with Arugula Pesto

"This combination was a huge hit while I was chef at Michael's in Santa Monica," says Sang Yoon of his grilled lamb paired with a simple, pleasantly tangy arugula-and-Parmesan pesto. The mustard seeds in the lamb's spice coating add alluring crunch.


Slideshow: More Amazing Lamb Recipes


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Two 1 1/2-pound racks of lamb, chine bone removed and bones frenched
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups arugula leaves (3 ounces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

How to make this recipe

  1. Light a grill. In a small skillet, toast the mustard and cumin seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Let cool, then transfer the seeds to a mortar or spice grinder and grind to a powder. Rub the spices all over the lamb and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill the lamb over moderately high heat, turning and rotating the racks occasionally, until lightly charred outside and medium-rare within, about 30 minutes total. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree the arugula with the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Add the cheese and season the pesto with salt and pepper.
  4. Carve the lamb racks into individual chops and transfer to plates. Serve the arugula pesto alongside.

Make Ahead

The pesto can be refrigerated for 2 days. Serve at room temperature.

Suggested Pairing

The Russian River Brewing Company's Salvation, a rich and powerful Belgian-style ale, has the substance to stand up to the flavorful meat. An alternative choice, Yoon says, is Maredsous 8, a Belgian double ale similar to Salvation in many ways.

Contributed By Photo © David Tsay Published June 2007

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