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Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade
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I got a box of roasted pistachios at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago to throw in my chicken salad. (That's another recipe for another post the next time I actually take pictures and keep track of quantities, but I promise it'll be worth the wait!) Having some pistachios leftover and finding lamb chops on sale I decided to put them together. I was inspired by the memory of a pistachio-encrusted salmon steak I once ordered, but considering my propensity for leaving more "crust" burnt and stuck to the bottom of the pan than on the meat itself, I figured I'd better go with a separately prepared topping. Googled "pistachio tapenade" to get some ideas for flavors and found Anne Burrell's recipe, which I then altered to get the following version.
Combine pistachios, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley, oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil in a blender or food processor.
I used my nifty new personal sized blender, which I've been loving to use for making my morning smoothies. Makes cleanup soooo much easier!
Blend until kinda pasty and coarsely chopped. Cover and refrigerate until you need to use it. It should keep for at least a week if you keep it in an airtight container.
Remove some lamb chops from their packaging and blot all sides with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat some vegetable oil (do not use olive oil, which has a much lower smoking point) in a skillet over high heat. Well sear all sides of the lamb chops.
Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet, and cook for about 5-10 more minutes, until the lamb reaches your desired doneness. Serve topped with the pistachio tapenade. Sides such as sweet potato with brown sugar butter and a green salad with fresh berries and a light vinaigrette are a nice compliment to the salty tanginess of the tapenade.