Pistachio-Crusted Lamb Chops

Pistachio-Crusted Lamb ChopsGround pistachios add richness and depth to these succulent Ontario lamb chops. They can be served individually as a passed hors d’oeuvre at your next cocktail party or several as a main course. Serve with a creamy minted yogurt dip for a fresh finish.

Pistachio crust:
1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (125 mL) ground pistachios
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped rosemary
2 tbsp (25 mL) melted butter
1 rack Ontario lamb, separated into chops (7 to 8 pieces)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Minted Yogurt Dip:
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt (Balkan-style)
1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped fresh mint
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In large shallow bowl or pie plate, mix together breadcrumbs, pistachios, garlic and rosemary. Drizzle in butter and combine with fork. Set aside.

Season lamb chops lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. In re-sealable bag, toss lamb chops in flour, shaking off any excess. Pour beaten egg into large shallow dish. Dip floured chops in egg, turning to coat well. Cover egg-dipped chops in pistachio mixture and lay on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chops.

Bake chops in preheated oven for 6 minutes; turn over and bake a further 6 minutes. Allow chops to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, prepare dip. In bowl whisk together yogurt, mint, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper until well combined. Serve chops warm with dip on the side.

Makes 7 – 8 lamb chops.