Upgrade your next summer barbecue with this Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto.
This has been the summer of grilling for me. Grilled Lamb Chops with Spicy Peanut Sauce, Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Charred Lemon Chimichurri and Grilled Swordfish with Tangy Rosé Wine Mayonnaise are just a scattering of the dishes that I’ve made on my new Big Green Egg (have you entered to win one yet?). And, now that I type them out, I’m noticing a trend – I like to pair my grilled meats with a sauce of some sort. I think it’s like an instant upgrade for your backyard barbecue.
Today, I’m sticking with that trend and making a Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto.
I picked up these beautiful Aussie racks of lamb with frenched rib bones figuring that I could slice up the lamb when it was finished cooking and drizzle each piece with a bit of the pistachio basil pesto. The frenched bones make this elegant dish “finger food” because you can just pick up each piece by its “handle” and eat away. Gnawing away at meat has never been so classy… Of course, you could also serve this lamb with a fork and knife on the side, but I highly suggest throwing caution to the wind and just being totally casual with this dish. It would even work for tailgating… You’d definitely have the most popular spot in the parking lot!
Be sure to let your lamb come to room temperature before placing it on your hot grill. This ensures that it will grill up evenly, without the inside of the lamb being to rare. Just let it rest for about 30 minutes on your kitchen counter while you preheat your grill and make the pistachio basil pesto.
The pesto is simple to make and comes together so quickly with the help of your food processor or blender. You don’t even need to chop the garlic, just throw it in there and pulse away. Then add in the pistachios, basil and a bit of lemon juice, pulse to combine and stream in some good quality extra virgin olive oil and finish the pesto off with a bit of parmesan cheese. The green color is just fantastic and I think it makes such a stunning presentation with the lamb.
So, what do you think? Would you serve this Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto at a tailgater or do you think it’s more suited for a fork and knife dinner party at home? The only thing I’m solid on is that I can’t wait to make this dish again… regardless of the setting.
Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto
- 2 Aussie racks of lamb 3-3 1/2 pounds total, rib bones frenched
- Kosher salt and pepper
Pistachio Basil Pesto
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup shelled pistachios
- 2 cups basil leaves
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Season lamb with salt and pepper allow to come to room temperature (about 20-30 minutes) while you preheat your grill and make the pistachio basil pesto.
Prepare grill for high heat (450°F).
Cover the bones of the lamb with foil (to prevent charring) and place on grill. Close grill and let cook for 7 minutes, flip and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F for medium-rare.
Let lamb rest 10 minutes. Cut into individual chops.
Pistachio Basil Pesto
Place garlic in blender or food processor and pulse until chopped. Add pistachios, basil, lemon juice and salt and pulse until pistachios are finely chopped. Slowly stream in olive oil and process until combined. Add cheese and pulse briefly to just combine.
Be sure to look for Aussie Beef & Lamb at a store near you.
Wine Pairings for Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto:
- Cabernet is an excellent pairing with the rich lamb and its herbal notes are echoed in the pistachio basil pesto.
- Petite Sirah is another great match for this grilled lamb. Its flavors of plum, berries and black pepper pair wonderfully with stronger flavored meats, such as lamb.
- Malbec with medium body and smooth tannins makes an excellent pairing for the rich lamb chops.
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