Roasted Lamb Chops and Apple Pecan Salad

Seems I needed a little more kitchen therapy this weekend, inspired in part by some lovely shoulder lamb chops Gary brought home from a wonderful little Mennonite market in Teviotdale. So, Saturday evening we sat down to a delicious meal, Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas playing in the background, candlelight, and wine.

The recipes I concocted for our fare follow.

Roasted garlic and rosemary lamb chops
Apple pecan salad

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Lamb Chops
2 thick-cut shoulder lamb chops

6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 fresh chilli pepper
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Finely mince together the garlic, rosemary and pepper; add salt and olive oil and combine well. You can also pound this in a mortar and pestle, or throw all the ingredients into a small chopper or food processor to obtain a coarse purée.

Rub the marinade liberally over the chops and allow to sit for about 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 450F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and lay the chops on the rack. Roast for about 20 minutes or until medium rare. You do not want to overcook the lamb as this will render the succulent quality of the meat tough. What you’re looking for a slightly pink centre, nice crispy fat at the edges.

Apple Pecan Salad
This is another variation on a Waldorf Salad and my Stonehouse Salad (which appears in my cookbook, Stonehouse Cooks). 

2 apples (Your choice of variety. I used Crispins in this case because it’s what I had on hand.)
1 small onion
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup whole pecans
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, of whatever variety you wish. I used a Danish blue in this case.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yoghurt
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Wash, core and dice apples; place in a bowl. Peel and finely mince the onion; add to the apples. Finely chop the celery and add to the apple mixture. Toss in the pecans and cheese.

In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, yoghurt, salt and pepper. Pour over the apple mixture and toss liberally to coat. Serve on a bed of finely shredded greens.

The salad can be made ahead of time and refrigerated; the flavour improves overnight.

Serves 6

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