Recipe of the Month: Grilled Lamb

Chef Oded Schwartzbard, who runs the kitchen at Torrance Restaurant in The Scots Hotel, Tiberius, Israel, demonstrated this simple and aromatic dish at this year’s Yarden Vintage Festival.


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Grilled Lamb Chops With Roast Tomato, Green Bean & Herb Salad

Chef Oded Schwartzbard runs the kitchen at Torrance Restaurant in The Scots Hotel, Tiberius, Israel, near the Sea of Galilee. He demonstrated this simple and aromatic dish at this year’s Yarden Vintage Festival, a three-day consumer wine and food celebration held every other year in Israel.

For the roasted tomato, green bean and potatoes:
4 medium potatoes
½ pound fresh green beans or haricot verts
4 cloves of garlic
4 shallots
Extra virgin olive oil
16 red cherry tomatoes
16 yellow cherry tomatoes
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
Juice of 1 lemon

For the herb salad:
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra Virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper

For the lamb chops:
2 racks of lamb (16 rib chops)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme

TO MAKE THE VEGETABLES:
Peel the potatoes, cut into slices and chop the green beans in half. Boil together for 5 minutes, drain and set aside. Slice the garlic and shallots and sauté in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the boiled potato slices and green beans. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and toss all ingredients together with salt, pepper, oregano, olive oil and lemon juice.

TO MAKE THE SALAD:
Lightly toss all ingredients together and set aside.

TO MAKE THE LAMB CHOPS:
Separate the racks into 16 individual chops. French the rib bones if you like—or have your butcher do this. Sprinkle both sides of each with salt, pepper and thyme. Grill over medium flame for 2 minutes on each side after the warm vegetable mixture and herb salad have been prepared and are ready to plate. To plate, place one quarter of the warmed vegetables in the center of the plate and arrange 4 lamb chops with the Frenched bones all facing inward. Sprinkle each plate liberally with the herb salad. Serves 4.

Wine Recommendations

The lamb chops pair beautifully with the fruit-forward, elegantly balanced Yarden Rom 2006, a rich blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot and a collaboration between Schoenfeld and renowned consulting winemaker Zelma Long. Or consider the full-bodied Galil Mountain 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon as another Israeli alternative.

Yarden Vintage Festival, Golan Heights, Israel 

The lush, landscaped gardens, winery and vineyards of Israel’s Golan Heights Winery were the setting for the sixth Yarden Vintage Festival held April 27–29, 2010. Every other year, Israel’s premier wine and food festival brings together the finest chefs from restaurants and hotels across the country, allowing attendees to experience a range of dishes showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the country as paired with Israel’s growing offering of quality red and white wines. The beautiful atmosphere characterizes all of the events at the festival, which featured the opening night party, lantern-filled trees, plush couches and fragrant beef, lamb and vegetable dishes cooked over open flames. A walkaround tasting under an enormous tent is another attraction, while innovative dishes such as grey mullet with yellow tomato gazpacho and fennel confit and lamb spare ribs in anis and Persian lemon are served throughout the day. ATV vineyard tours, live cooking demonstrations by more than 90chefs and guided wine tastings led by winemakers Victor Schoenfeld of Golan Heights Winery and Micha Vaadia of Galil Mountain Winery added to the 2010 draw. For more information and 2012 dates, go to yardenwines.com

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