Got Burnt Bread? Make Salsa Verde

Justin Chapple makes Lamb Chops with Burnt-Bread Salsa Verde on this week’s episode of Mad Genius.

If you've ever accidentally burned bread and wondered how to use it, this week's Mad Genius episode has the answer. Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple is making his recipe for Lamb Chops with Burnt-Bread Salsa Verde, and (purposely) burnt bread is the key, helping to "intensify and deepen the flavors" of the salsa. The bright, flavorful condiment is paired with simply grilled lamb chops, resulting in a quick meal that's ready in just 35 minutes.

Read on for Justin's step-by-step method and follow along with the video above.

Burn That Bread

Burnt-bread salsa verde starts with burnt bread, naturally. Grab a 1/2-inch-thick slice of rustic boule and brush both sides with extra-virgin olive oil. On a grill pan or grill, grill the bread over high heat, turning occasionally, until it's burned, which will take about four to five minutes.

Make the Salsa Verde

After the bread has had a little time to cool, tear it into small pieces and add it to your food processor, pulsing until it becomes fine crumbs. Add the parsley next, along with the arugula, fresh lemon juice, drained capers, crushed red pepper, and two tablespoons of water. Pulse the mixture to a paste and then, with the machine running, gradually pour in the olive oil until it's incorporated.

Once the salsa verde has come together, pour it into a bowl and season it with kosher salt and black pepper. If you'd like, you can prepare it the night beforehand and refrigerate it for the next day. Just bring it to room temperature before serving.

Grill the Lamb Rib Chops

With the salsa verde done, all that's left to do is grill the lamb. Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper, and grill them over high heat for about six minutes, turning once while they cook. Ultimately, you want them to be lightly charred and medium-rare.

Lamb Chops with Burnt-Bread Salsa Verde
Christopher Testani


Once the lamb chops are done cooking, transfer them to a platter and serve with the salsa verde. To round out the meal, have some grilled zucchini and yellow summer squash on the side.

"That is delicious," Justin says as he tries the lamb with the sauce. "It is so bright, it is so flavorful. You taste all of those herbs, you taste those capers, you get a little bit of heat from those crushed red peppers. But the secret is really that burnt bread in that salsa. It just deepens it and intensifies the flavor. It's actually so freaking good."

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