The City Magazine Since 1975

Herb- & Mustard-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Salad & Hand-Torn Croutons

It’s important to have variation within a menu,” Berryhill says on selecting lamb as the main course. “And it’s good to come down out of the mystical clouds of Champagne, chocolates, and romance and enjoy something earthy and uncomplicated, too!” The bite of the salad cuts the unctuousness of the meat, and the bright fruit and savory elements of the wine complement it. A half bottle of Cristom 2008 “Mt. Jefferson Cuvée” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir may be all you need.      
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  • 1 (1 1/2 lb.) rack of lamb, Frenched
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Leaves from 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley  
  • Salad (recipe follows)
  • Hand-torn croutons (recipe follows)
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the Salad:

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Meyer lemon, juiced, plus 1 tsp. zest
  • 1/4 cup Castelvetrano olives (available
  •     at Whole Foods), pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 lb. mixed greens, cleaned and dried
  • 1 flat leaf parsley sprig, leaves removed
  •     and torn into large pieces
  • 1 mint sprig, leaves removed and torn
  •     into large pieces
  • 1/4 lb. ricotta salata, (available at Whole Foods) cut into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Kosher salt  
  • Crushed black pepper

For the hand-torn croutons:

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 cup crusty bread, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper



For Entrée:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Place a baking rack in a roasting pan. Season rack of lamb with salt and pepper.

Combine garlic, rosemary, and panko in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Add mustard, olive oil, honey, and soy sauce and pulse until a paste forms. Fold parsley into the paste. Season with salt and pepper.

Coat outer side of lamb with paste and place it on the rack in the pan. Roast the lamb until it reaches an internal temperature of 132 to 135ºF for medium-rare and is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow meat to rest for 10 minutes. When rested, cut the rack into four double chops and arrange them on the plate. Arrange the salad beside the lamb and scatter the croutons over salad. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest.

For Salad:

Place garlic, shallot, chile, oil, and lemon juice in a bowl and vigorously whisk to combine. Add olives, tomatoes, greens, herbs, ricotta salata, and lemon zest and gently fold together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the hand-torn croutons:

Heat oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add thyme, rosemary, garlic, and torn bread. Toast on each side until golden brown. Season with salt and one turn of the pepper grinder. Remove from pan. The croutons should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.