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Rack of Lamb with Chimichurri Aioli

Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate

Chef Jenna Johansen
Epicurean Catering

Although rack of lamb can be a pricey cut, Chef Johansen plates it by the rib chop for catering functions. Serving it as a passed appetizer cuts the cost without cutting the glam factor.


50 rib chops, frenched
3¼ cups water
4 oz. fresh basil, chopped
2 oz. fresh tarragon, chopped
1¼ cups Dijon mustard
1¼ cups fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped garlic
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. kosher salt
½ gal. canola-olive oil blend

Chimichurri Aioli
1¼ cups canola-olive oil blend
1¼ cups red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar
1¼ cups finely chopped fresh mint
1¼ cups finely chopped Italian parsley
1¼ cups finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. + 1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
6 cups mayonnaise


1. Prepare lamb: Trim excess fat from chops. In blender or food processor, combine water, basil, tarragon, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, shallots, rosemary, pepper flakes and salt. Slowly drizzle in oil in a thin stream to form emulsion.
2. Into large, nonreactive container, pour a little of the above mixture; place rib chops on top and pour remaining mixture over chops. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, prepare chimichurri aioli: In bowl, blend oils, vinegar, mustard and agave nectar with immersion blender. Fold in mint, parsley, cilantro and garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine with mayonnaise and minced garlic. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Remove chops from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill chops over high heat until medium rare.
5. To serve, dollop some aioli on small plate and place a chop on top.

Photo courtesy of American Lamb Board

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