Source: American Lamb Board (and photo)
Entrée salads are a must-have on a lunch menu, but many restaurants don’t think beyond the old standbys—the chef’s salad, Cobb salad and chicken Caesar. Chef Swihart mixes it up a bit by turning to a non-traditional salad protein: lamb. The balsamic glazed chops sit atop sturdy greens and is dressed with a warm vinaigrette for a salad that will appeal to bigger appetites.
12 (6 oz. each) American lamb loin chops
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
1 cup minced shallots
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups dried figs, diced
3 tbsp. honey
1 qt. lamb or veal stock
1/2 cup sweet butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup minced parsley
3 qt. sturdy salad greens
3 cups grape tomatoes, halved
3 cups seasoned croutons
- Brush lamb chops lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper; sear well on both sides in hot skillet, 1 to 2 min. per side. Place chops on full-size sheet pan. Roast at 350°F in convection oven (or 400°F in conventional oven) for 5 to 6 min. to an internal temperature of 140°F.
- Meanwhile, add remaining oil to skillet; heat over med.-high heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 1 to 2 min. Deglaze pan with vinegar, figs and honey; simmer 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add stock; bring to a boil and reduce sauce by half, stirring occasionally. Just before serving swirl in butter pieces and parsley.
- For each serving, plate one lamb chop over 1 cup of greens; ladle with 1/3 cup warm sauce. Garnish with 1/4 cup tomato halves and 1/4 cup croutons.