In Season: Spiced Lamb Rack with Green Olive Pistachio & Orange Gremolata

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Loblaws Companies Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.

There was a time when Ontario lamb was most commonly sold in the spring, signalling the return of warmer days ahead. Nowadays, they are raised year round so there is no reason you can’t cook up a beautiful rack of lamb or a slow roasted shank any ol’ day of the week. Lamb burgers, kebabs, pulled shoulder, tender quick-cooking chops, whole roasted legs… is your mouth watering yet?

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For a long time I had this idea that I didn’t like lamb. I’m not sure where that thought developed but I’m glad I second guessed myself and gave it another shot. Lamb is rich and can be gamey, but much of the gamey flavour lives in the fat which can easily be removed for a milder taste. Because it can have a more prominent flavour, it stands up well to bold spices and condiments. I love a lamb roast dry-rubbed with warm spices like coriander and cumin – especially when the weather starts to get cooler. In the summer, a smokey bbq braised shoulder cooked in a dark beer makes beautiful tacos or tostadas.

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When you’re buying lamb, look for creamy white fat and a pink – sightly reddish colour. Darker meat tends to be gamier tasting and tougher.

This recipe is one I’ve been making for a long time. The briney olives and crunchy pistachios play incredibly well with the lamb and the orange gives it all a nice citrus kick. And if this recipe isn’t quite up your alley, don’t be discouraged. Check these tasty recipes for lamb lollipops

Spiced Lamb Lollipops with Green Olive Pistachio & Orange Gremolata

If you do pick some beautiful lamb chops up and want to share your photos on Instagram, Loblaws Ontario will give you the chance to WIN your groceries (up to $250). See below for details and happy cooking!

  • Follow @LoblawsON on Instagram (please ensure that your Instagram account is public)
  • Upload an original picture to your Instagram page highlighting the monthly Food Alert Item (July is Sockeye Salmon, of course)
  • Include the campaign hashtags #WeLoveFood and #ShareTheFoodLove

Spiced Lamb Lollipops with Green Olive Pistachio & Orange Gremolata
serves 4-6

1 8-rib frenched rack of lamb
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
vegetable oil, for searing

Green Olive Pistachio & Orange Gremolata
1/2 tsp orange peel, pith removed and minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped fine
1/2 cup cerignola olives, pitted and chopped fine
2 tbsp minced curly parsley, minced
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 425.
Mix together your salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and pepper in a small dish. Pat your ribs down with a clean dish towel or paper towel to dry them off, and rub down with your spice mixture. You can cook immediately from this point but I like to do this in advance, like the night before, to let the spices have time to permeated the lamb.

Drizzle a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with vegetable oil and let it get nice and hot. Place the rack of lamb, bone-up in the pan and let is sear to a golden brown. Flip and repeat. Be sure to brown all sides, even the very ends of the rack.

While you sear off the ribs, mix together the ingredients for the gremolata in a small bowl. Taste for salt and add, if needed. The olives should be salty enough but you may like to add a bit more.

Place skillet in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes for medium rare or until cooked to desired doneness. Slice ribs into individual portions and serve family style with the gremolata spooned over. Serve with jeweled rice or roasted vegetables for a more filling dish.

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