2000s Recipes + Menus

Lebanese Lamb Chops with Lemony Lettuce

  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to finish:35 min
September 2009
No, it’s not the title of a lost Dr. Seuss opus, but a perfectly grown-up dish in which the richness of grilled spice-rubbed lamb chops is cut by lemon (both zest and flesh). Chances are you’ll want to eat it anywhere. View more of our favorite recipes from this issue.
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon baharat (Eastern Mediterranean spice mixture; see cooks’ note, below)
  • 8 (3/4-inch-thick) rib lamb chops (2 lb)
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce (about 3/4 lb each), torn into large pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups mint leaves
  • Grate 2 tsp zest from 1 lemon. Trim ends of both lemons, then stand lemons on a cut side and cut peel, including white pith, from lemons with a sharp paring knife (discard peel). Cut segments free from membranes, then cut segments crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss lemon segments gently with sugar in a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp oil. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes for flavors to develop.
  • Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1/2 tsp salt, then stir together with baharat, grated zest, remaining Tbsp oil, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Rub all over lamb chops.
  • Toss lettuce and mint with lemon mixture.
  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see “Grilling Procedure
  • Grill chops, turning once, about 6 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and let rest, loosely covered, 5 minutes. Serve chops with salad.
Cooks’ notes:
  • You can make your own baharat by grinding 1 tsp each of whole cloves, cumin seeds, Maras or Aleppo pepper, and a 3-inch cinnamon stick (broken in half) in an electric coffee/spice grinder until finely ground.
  • Chops can be cooked in an oiled hot 2-burner grill pan over medium-high heat, turning once, about 6 minutes.
  • Lemon mixture keeps at room temperature 2 hours. Toss with lettuce and mint just before serving.
  • serve with: orzo
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