Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lamb with Basil-Mint Pesto, Mushroom Rice Pilaf, and Green Beans


Alright, so... once again, I made this forever ago. I actually (overall) remember this dish though. I don't remember why I made it, I don't remember what occasion... but I do remember that I really liked the mint-basil pesto. I really liked the idea of the pesto with the savory lamb. I mean, mint with lamb is pretty typical, but the salty mix of parmesan (for the pesto), the roasted rich flavor of walnuts (used instead of pine nuts), and the addition of basil... related to mint. I dunno, but it was a good decision.

I served it with green beans and a rich and flavorful mushroom and wild rice pilaf. I was trying to get some healthier options in my diet at the time, so I used brown rice with the wild rice. The mushrooms were a pleasing addition, especially with the rich earthiness of the lamb and mushrooms. I think I should make this again-- I can give everyone a better opinion then.


Lamb with Basil-Mint Pesto


3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/6 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend the mint, basil, nuts, cheese, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor (or blender, as I used) until all of it is finely chopped and mixed together. With the machine running, gradually blend in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

1 1/2 pounds lamb (chop, leg, rib, whatever you choose)
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon etra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Generously sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper and thyme. I tend to rub it into the meat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a grill pan or heavy skillet over high heat. Place the lamb in the skillet and cook just until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb meat side up to a heavy, large baking sheet. Continue with all meat.

Roast the lamb in the oven until cooked to desire doneness (about 20 minutes). Transfer the lamb to a work surface and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut the lamb, and spread the pesto over 1 cut side for each chop. Serve.


Mushroom Rice Pilaf

1/4 cup Brown Rice

1/8 cup Wild Rice

1/2 pound Mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme

1/4 Onion, chopped

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup Chicken Stock

1/8 cup Red Wine


Salt

Pepper


Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms are tender.

Stir the wild rice and broth into the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the brown rice, cover, and cook for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Garlic Green Beans


1/4 pound Green Beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon stock

Salt

Pepper


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the green beans, garlic, and red pepper flakes, sautéing until tender. Add chicken stock if necessary to keep beans moist and from drying out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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