Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Ingredients for four
- 8 lamb loin chops
- 250gm frozen peas
- 20 mint leaves + extra to garnish
- 50g smoked almonds
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 25gm Parmesan, grated
- 125ml olive oil
- 1 large kumara (Maori for sweet potato)
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lemon juice to serve
- For pea pesto: Bring a medium sized saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the frozen peas and cook for 2 minutes or until just done. Strain through a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Place the almonds, mint, lemon zest and juice and peas into a food processor then puree. While the machine is running add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream so that it incorporates and makes a nice smooth pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. This can be made the day before.
- For the kumara chips: Preheat the oven to 175°C. Wash and dry the outside of the kumara. Cut the kumara into chips approx. 1cm square and 8cm long. Toss in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper then place in a single layer onto a tray lined with baking paper. Place into the oven and cook for 20 minutes then turn over and cook for another 15 minutes until golden and slightly crisp.
- To cook the lamb: Preheat a BBQ or pan to a high heat. On a tray season both sides of the lamb chops with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes either side (depending on thickness) and then rest on a rack for 5 minutes. When ready to serve place them back on the BBQ for 2 minutes either side to reheat.
- Remove pea pesto from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Neatly arrange the lamb chops onto a serving platter and drizzle with a little olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and mint leaves.
- Place the kumara chips into a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Allow your guests to serve themselves.
- Trim any excess fat off the 'tails' of the chops - this will stop excess flare-ups.
- When the chops are almost done stand them up on the fat side to render some of the fat out and crisp it up.
- As you reheat the lamb after it's rested, cook the lamb chops a little bit less than what you think they need, then give them a good couple of minutes on each side to reheat after resting.
- Aioli is a fantastic condiment to go with the kumara chips.