AGNELLO SCOTTADITO (Grilled Lamb Chops)
Adapted from West Coast Prime Meats Cooks © 2015
- One small eggplant, peeled
- One large carrot, peeled
- Two stalks celery, ends and leaves trimmed
- One small green zucchini, ends trimmed
- One small yellow zucchini, ends trimmed
- One small red or yellow bell pepper, cored and seeds removed
- One medium white onion, peeled and cored
- Half-cup roasted, diced tomatoes (optional)
- One tablespoon sugar
- Two ounces white balsamic vinegar
- One teaspoon salt
- Four twists of a pepper mill
- Quarter-cup raisins, rehydrated in a quarter-cup of boiling water
- Two tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Two tablespoons black olives, pitted and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Two tablespoons salt-cured capers
- Half-cup olive oil
- Cut the carrot, celery, zucchinis, bell pepper, eggplant and onions in 1/2-inch dice.
- In a medium sauté pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat on the stove over medium flame. When the oil has heated, add the eggplant and saute until golden brown and tender, about three to five minutes. Strain and reserve.
- Repeat with the carrot, celery, zucchini and the bell peppers; cook each vegetable separately in a tablespoon of olive oil until tender, then strain and reserve.
- In a separate pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium flame, then saute the onions until they are translucent, about two to three minutes. If you are including tomatoes, add those now.
- Stir in the sugar and continue to cook until the onions start to caramelize, about five minutes more.
- Fold in the reserved sautéed vegetables. When the mixture has heated through, add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Let the mixture saute for an additional minute, then remove from the stove and stir in the raisins, pine nuts, olives and capers. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Caponata is also delicious cold; if not using immediately, place in a sealed contained in the refrigerator and use within three days.
White Balsamic Mint Sauce
- Two bunches of fresh thyme
- One sprig fresh sage
- Two bunches of fresh mint
- Eight ounces (one cup) white balsamic vinegar
- Half of a large shallot, cut in 1/4-inch dice
- Tie the thyme, sage and mint together with some butcher’s twine to make a sachet.
- Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan, add the herb sachet and the shallots and simmer over a very low flame for about 45 minutes. The vinegar should reduce by half.
- Remove from the stove and strain the sauce; reserve the liquid.
Grilled Lamb Chops
- Two baby lamb racks, french-trimmed (see How to French-Trim or Crown a Rack)
- One tablespoon olive oil
- Half-teaspoon fresh rosemary, leaves only, minced
- Quarter-teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- One teaspoon salt
- One teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Two cups Caponata (see recipe)
- Half-cup White Balsamic Mint Sauce (see recipe)
- Preheat the grill to around 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rub the lamb racks with the olive oil, then season them on both sides with the fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
- Grill the chops for five minutes, bone-side down, then turn over and grill for another five to seven minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 130 degrees.
- Take the lamb off of the grill and allow it to rest for five minutes, then slice into either 7-8 double chops or 14-16 single chops (also depends on how many the cook eats as the chops come off the grill).
- Split the caponata evenly among four plates, then arrange the chops around each serving of caponata. Ladle the sauce across the chops on each plate and serve. Try not to burn your fingers on the lamb!
Copyright © 2015 by Amy and Craig Nickoloff and West Coast Prime Meats
Recipes reprinted with permission of the owners.
Celestino Drago was one of the first professionally trained Italian chefs to educate Southern Californians about Italian food…