I love lamb and I love dates so I thought the two should meet. They are a perfect match where the sweetness of the dates offsets the gaminess of the lamb. Lamb is one of the only meats that takes well to sweet chutneys and salsas, so I thought this would be a great recipe to test! There are really only a few ingredients in the recipe which makes it pretty easy to make.
This is one of those simple week night dinners that can also play off well as a dinner party main. There are just a few things you need to do ahead and then the lamb cooks very quickly right before dinner is served. Easy as 1-2-3…
I like to flavor the lamb with garlic, lemon, and thyme the day before so it picks up some nice flavors ahead of time. All it needs after that is salt, pepper, and a hot cast iron pan where it sears for all of two minutes per side and then into the oven to be finished for about 4 minutes. Because the cut of lamb is a center cut loin chop it is extra meaty ,juicy and fast to cook. I highly recommend this cut and it is relatively easy to find in most markets.
The salsa is really easy to make and can be done a day ahead. I combine sliced dates, add lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley and that is it! So easy! You will be amazed at how good the combo is too. If you have any leftovers of the salsa, it makes an awesome appetizer with goat cheese and some sliced baguette. Yum!
Serve the meat with a nice big arugula salad and some kind of grain like farro or quinoa. I can always help you out with some ideas if you need them…
Hope you like it and let me know what you think!
Cast Iron Lamb Loin Chops with Date, Parsley Salsa
8 Center Cut Lamb Loin Chops
2-3 Teaspoon of Ground Coriander
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
8 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Lemons, Peels only
3 Cloves of garlic, sliced
Date and Parsley Chutney:
20 Dates, Sliced into ¼ inch rounds
1 ½ Lemons, zest and juice
½ Bunch of Parsley
1/3 Cup of Olive Oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400 Degrees
1. Season the lamb with the coriander, salt, and pepper on both sides. Put the thyme, garlic, and lemon peels on the lamb. Drizzle the lamb chops with a little olive oil and let it up to 24 hours.
2. Heat a large cast iron pan over a high heat. When the pan is hot, add in the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, place the lamb down in the skillet .
3. Sear the lamb until it is golden brown or about 2 minutes. Flip the chop over and sear for another 2 minutes on the other side. Add the lemon rounds to the pan and sear them until they are golden on each side. Place the cast iron pan with the lamb ad lemons in the oven to finish cooking. Cook the lamb for about 4 more minutes.
4. Remove the lamb from the oven. Place the lamb on a platter and put the lemon rounds around it. Pour any accumulated juice over the lamb. Top with a spoonful of the date chutney.
1. Combine the sliced dates, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and salt in a bowl. Toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and serve.