Seared Lamb Chops with Seared Endive, Asparagus, and Tahini Dressing


When I’m in a meat-eating frame of mind and cooking solo, I turn to lamb chops because they’re delicious, easy to prepare, and, because of their size, ideal for a dinner for one. If you’re feeling only a little peckish you can cook just a couple, or if you’re famished, you can have four or five chops (I always ask the butcher to chop them individually so they’re about an inch thick). All you have to do is sprinkle them with salt and pepper and pop them into a hot skillet to cook and you’re on your way to a filling meal.Cooking for yourself is an act of self-care, so buy the highest quality ingredients you can afford. For me, that means patronizing a grocery store that carries grass-fed meat, where a butcher can verify that the animal was not raised on an all-grain diet and stuffed with antibiotics.To round out this springtime dish, I add some more spring produce—seared endives and asparagus—which I garnish with fresh mint (a nod to my parents, who would always add mint jelly when lamb was served). I drizzle the vegetables with a tangy tahini dressing, loaded with lemon juice, which adds a bright, acidic finish.The entire meal is quick to prepare, because you’re only briefly searing the vegetables, browning the endives but not cooking them all the way through, which leaves a nice texture, as well as bitterness and crunch, that’s delightful alongside the lamb. The whole thing comes together in about 20 minutes—making it an easy way to do something nice for yourself, even on a weeknight.

Lamb Chops with Seared Endive, Asparagus, and Tahini Dressing
Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 4 lamb chops (about 1/2 pound)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons tahini

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 1 endive, cut in half lengthwise

  • 10 to 12 green asparagus spears, trimmed

  • 1 tablespoon fresh baby mint leaves 


  1. Lightly season both sides of lamb chops with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high, tilting pan to coat the bottom. Cook lamb, turning once, until exterior is browned and crisp and interior is cooked to your liking—about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare or 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-well. Set lamb aside.

  2. While lamb cooks, combine tahini, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons water, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and whisk until smooth and dressing is the consistency of a thick syrup (thin with additional water, if needed).

  3. In same skillet used to cook lamb, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high, tilting pan to coat the bottom. Place endive halves, cut sides down, in skillet. Place asparagus in the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until asparagus is bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove asparagus from pan, and set aside. Cook endive until slightly charred around edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes.

  4. Arrange lamb chops, endive halves, and asparagus on 2 plates. Drizzle with tahini dressing, and garnish with mint.

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