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Rack of Lamb with Caper & Mint Sauce

Mention the word Spring to me and I automatically think of Easter and roast lamb. Recipes for lamb abound and it is always fun to try out a different one. Here’s one I prepared for eight friends who my wife I invited over for a Sunday lunch. It was a great success, made even more so with the six bottles of Beaujolais, Fleurie, Vieilles Vignes Potel Aviron 2006 which one of the guests had forewarned that he would be bringing specially for the lunch.

Ingredients (Serves 8)

·    4 garlic cloves, crushed
·    1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
·    2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
·    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
·    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
·    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
·    2 racks of lamb (about 3 pounds), frenched
·    2 tablespoons safflower oil

·    1/2 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed well
·    2 cups fresh mint
·    2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
·    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
·    1/4 cup minced shallots (from 2 shallots)
·    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
·    Lemon wedges, for garnish
·    Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

1.     Whisk together garlic, mint, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Place lamb in a large  plastic bag; add marinade and refrigerate overnight.

2.    Let lamb stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove lamb from marinade, brush off any garlic and mint, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard marinade. Season lamb with salt and pepper.

3.    Heat safflower oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb; cook, flipping once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven; cook until lamb registers 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes for medium-rare.

4.    Meanwhile, make the caper-mint sauce: Pulse capers in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add mint, lemon zest and juice, and shallots, and pulse until mint is roughly chopped. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, pulsing until combined but still coarse. Transfer to a small bowl.

5.    Transfer lamb to platter and coat racks with a third of the caper-mint sauce. Let rest for 20 minutes. Cut lamb into chops, single or double thickness; transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with lemon wedges and mint sprigs; serve with remaining sauce.

6.    Serve with honey roasted potatoes and melange of vegetables. - Fly at a Smile-Price