Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade

So it was a Tuesday morning and I got the cooking bug. Scanning the web I came across a few things that sparked my interest. I popped Graye in the van and headed off to the store. Grabbed a Slurpee on the way home and somebody ran to find it… I made the tapenade that afternoon so dinner was easy to put together come 5 o’clock.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and toasted
(toast for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, but keep your eye on them)
1/2 cup pitted big green olives
2 tablespoons capers (sorry not in picture)
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested
4 to 6 lamb chops (I think pork chops would also work with this)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pistachio Tapenade: In a food processor combine roasted pistachios, olives, capers, garlic, herbs and puree. Slowly drizzle in olive oil (around 2 tablespoons) until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Add the lemon zest and pulse a few more times, adding in more oil if necessary. Place aside until ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Cooking the lamb chops: Season your lamb chops on either side with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow them to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not yet smoking, add the lamb chops and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until lightly brown. If the pan begins to smoke, lower the heat. The chops should be caramelized on both sides.

Remove the chops to a sheet pan (with foil, makes for easier cleanup) and smear generously with the pistachio tapenade. Place in preheated oven and cook another 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare. Remove chops from oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. This goes great with roasted balsamic beets and a nice side salad.

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