Lamb Chops with Rucola Pesto and Mediterranean Mashed Potatoes

by meike peters

Lamb Chops with Rucola Pesto

My young sister in law came to visit us and brought a big appetite with her! She loves food as much as I do but she enjoys eating more than cooking so whenever I’m cooking and pottering about in my kitchen she joins in with excitement. She gives me a helping hand or sits at the table patiently to see what’s in the pots and pans as soon as I lift their lids. When I visit her at her home in Malta, we always make lots of pesto together. We walk through the garden with the two beautiful orange and lemon trees packed with fruits and pick the herbs growing around them, plenty of basil, parsley, peppermint and rucola. When I touch the leaves and they spread their smell in the warm air I can already taste the pesto! Everything grows so fast and strong under the Mediterranean sun that I can’t stop myself from picking bowls full of fragrant leaves to fill big jars with my pesto which we still manage to empty within a couple days. We mix it with dried tomatoes, pine nuts, parmesan or pecorino, black or green olives and eat it with pasta, on bread or potatoes and in salads. Every pesto tastes different, it’s never the same, that’s what I love about it!

Since we have our own personal pesto tradition, I wanted to make some while Julia is here. I already made one with ramp (and she emptied the jar with her fingers) and now it’s rucola! I sprinkled the pesto on some juicy lamb chops, sautéed for a minute on each side and served them with mashed potatoes. For the mash, I just chopped the cooked potatoes with a knife until they had a lumpy texture and mixed olive oil and sea salt in, no butter or milk, I wanted to keep it light and Mediterranean!

The lamb was great together with the spicy rucola, the meat’s juices mixed in perfectly with the herb, but the secret star of this meal was the mashed potatoes together with the pesto which I hadn’t even planned to mix together. The big pot of mashed potatoes and the bowl of pesto were emptied within minutes!

Lamb Chops with Rucola Pesto

 Lamb Chops with Rucola Pesto and Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil

For 4 people you need

lamb chops, 4-8 (depending on if you have a starter before), around 100g / 3.5 ounces per person
olive oil for frying
rosemary 1 sprig
garlic, cut in half, 1

For the mashed potatoes

medium sized potatoes, peeled and cooked in salted water, 12
olive oil 40ml
sea salt

For the pesto

rucola (rocket), just the leaves, 60g / 2 ounces
parmesan 20g / 3/4 ounce
pine nuts 20g / 3/4 ounce
olive oil 75 ml
a pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients for the pesto in a blender.

In a big pot, chop the warm potatoes with a knife until they have a lumpy texture adding the oil constantly, season with salt.

Warm a little olive oil in a pan over high temperature together with the rosemary and garlic. Lay the lamb chops in the pan, turn the temperature down to a medium heat and sauté the meat for 1 minute on each side until it colours. Don’t overcook them as the meat should remain juicy. Depending on the size of your pan you have to cook them in batches and keep them warm under a plate or wrapped in aluminum foil but keep in mind that they will continue cooking when they are covered.

Place the meat on warm plates sprinkled with the pesto and serve with the mashed potatoes.

Lamb Chops with Rucola Pesto


Lamb Chops with Rucola Pesto


Lamb Chops with Rucola Pesto