Dinner,  Gluten-free,  Lamb

Cilantro Grilled Lamb Chops with Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

Remember my post a few weeks back on my prepped foods for weekend guests?  Well, cilantro oil was one I had mixed up to have on hand for drizzling over hummus,  adding a touch to my green eggs for an unexpected surprise taste, mixing a dash into my vinaigrette for a unique twist and as a flavored oil for a quick sauté of shrimp.  The final use for the cilantro oil was in this recipe for these cilantro grilled lamb chops and a strawberry cilantro salsa.

In my previous post I roughly detailed how I make the oil.  As with most of my prepped foods I keep on hand they are just pulled together with the ingredients and methods I’m familiar with.  Just as I’m writing this now, I did a google search and found that Emerile Lagasse has a cilantro oil recipe.  He used it to drizzle over a pork loin…another nice idea!  My cilantro oil has garlic, scallions, and olive oil versus his use of canola oil and cayenne.  He also blanched the cilantro, which I do not, and honestly I wouldn’t even have the time for that step!  Plus, he strains his oil…okay, this is beginning to really look like a totally different oil, but I wanted to share his version as well.  As for the use of cayenne, I would prefer to leave it out and add it to the final recipe should it require a bit of heat.

The strawberry salsa added a nice spring time balance to the lamb chops.  The cilantro complimented the sweet strawberries balancing the taste perfectly.  Quick and easy dishes are on my plans for the next few weeks as I’m busy purging for a garage sale!

Cilantro Grilled Lamb Chops with Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

1 rack of lamb, cut into chops or 6 individual lamb chops

Cilantro oil, recipe below

Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, recipe below

Rub the cilantro oil over the chops and allow to marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator.  Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes) before grilling.  Preheat the grill or grill pan as I use indoors.  Sear the chops about 2 minutes, flip over and sear for another 2-3 minutes for medium rare, 3-4 minutes for medium.  Thickness of the chops also determines the searing time; this is based on ¾ inch cut.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Serve with Strawberry Cilantro Salsa.  Makes about 3 servings, 2 chops each.

Cilantro oil

1 cup packed fresh cilantro, stems removed

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 large scallion, roughly chopped

½ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon  Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Rinse cilantro well and pat dry.  Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.  Pour into a bowl or glass oil bottle and store in the refrigerator until needed.  Will last up to 2 weeks.  Bring to room temperature before using.

Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

1 cup strawberries, diced small

½ cup cucumber, diced small

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon cilantro oil

½ teaspoon agave or sugar to taste if necessary

Combine all in a medium bowl.  Cover and allow flavors to blend for at least 30 minutes.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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