This recipe sounds fancy, it looks fancy, and it tastes fancy, but it takes only a few steps of preparation and some very simple assembly. It’s one of those recipes where you want to buy the best ingredients you can afford, since that will make all of the difference.
Loin lamb chops are one of the most readily available cuts in the case at the grocery store and butcher shop. Lean and tender they are usually 3- to 4-ounce each. They have a small “T” shaped bone that runs through the meat, which is why they are sometimes called T-bone chops. You can also use rib lamb chops, which are a bit pricier, but would be super duper impressive. Both cuts grill up beautifully and quickly on the grill.
Play around with the herb and lettuce mixture. Any assortment of tender lettuces and fresh herbs will be lovely atop the rich grilled chops and tender, smoky onions. Grilling the lemons along with the lamb and onions caramelizes them, and the juice you sprinkle over the finished dish will have a lovely hint of smokiness. Oh, I just had an idea – next time I make preserved lemons, a handful of the diced rind might be going in.
I think a few pitas or lavash would be great with these. You might brush one side with olive oil and give them a minute on each side on the grill. If you want to cut the meat off the chops and mix it with the greens and herbs with a squeeze of the caramelized lemon juice everyone could fashion their own wraps at the table.
You can let the onions and lemons sit in the marinade at room temperature for an hour or so, or in the fridge for up to 2 days, for even more flavor. If you have a vegetable grilling grate, pull it out. Otherwise (even if you use a wide grilling spatula) you may end up sacrificing a few of the onion rings to the grilling gods.
Grilled Lamb Chops and Onions with Herb Salad
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar preferably white balsamic
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 large yellow or Vidalia onions
- 3 lemons halved crosswise
- 10 loin lamb chops about 1-inch thick
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the white wine, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Peel the onions, and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Place them in the baking dish, along with the lemon halves, turn to coat with the marinade (it’s fine to stack the onion slices), and set aside.
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Grill the onions and the lamb chops for about 8 minutes, about 4 minutes on each side, so that they get nicely browned on both sides, turning the onions with a grilling spatula (you can use a spatula or tongs for the lamb). At the same time, grill the lemons cut side down for about 5 minutes. The internal temperature of the lamb chops should be 130°F for medium rare.
- Remove the chops and the lemons from the grill and let sit on a cutting board for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, move the onions to a cooler area of the grill or turn the gas down, and let them continue to soften while the lamb and lemons sit, watching carefully to make sure the onions don’t burn.
- While the chops sit and the onions finish cooking, place the arugula and parsley in a medium bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss.
- Place the lamb chops and onions on a serving platter. Pile the arugula and herb salad on top. Place the lemon halves on the side, for people to squeeze over, or squeeze the juice from the lemons over all and serve immediately.
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