Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto will upgrade your next BBQ or tailgate. Frenched rack of lamb is grilled, sliced & topped with basil pesto. | platingsandpairings.com
Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto will upgrade your next BBQ or tailgate. Frenched rack of lamb is grilled, sliced & topped with basil pesto. | platingsandpairings.com

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. 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 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.

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto will upgrade your next BBQ or tailgate. Frenched rack of lamb is grilled, sliced & topped with basil pesto. | platingsandpairings.com

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto will upgrade your next BBQ or tailgate. Frenched rack of lamb is grilled, sliced & topped with basil pesto. | platingsandpairings.com

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 will upgrade your next BBQ or tailgate. Frenched rack of lamb is grilled, sliced & topped with basil pesto. | platingsandpairings.com

Grilled Rack of Lamb Recipe

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto will upgrade your next BBQ or tailgate. Frenched rack of lamb is grilled, sliced & topped with basil pesto. | platingsandpairings.com

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled lamb, grilled rack of lamb, lamb with pesto, pistachio basil pesto, pistachio pesto
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1199 kcal

Upgrade your next summer barbecue with this Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto.

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Ingredients

  • 2 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Prepare grill for high heat (450°F).
  3. 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.
  4. Let lamb rest 10 minutes. Cut into individual chops.

Pistachio Basil Pesto

  1. 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.
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1199 Calories from Fat 1008
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 112g 172%
Saturated Fat 42g 210%
Cholesterol 192mg 64%
Sodium 531mg 22%
Potassium 664mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 41g 82%
Vitamin A 14.9%
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 15.1%
Iron 25.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Wine Pairings for Grilled Lamb:

  • 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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6 comments

  1. Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama

    I have been obsessed with pistachios lately (thanks mostly to my trying the Whole30 for a while), but I’ve only been munching on them in the shell – nothing so fancy as pistachio pesto. I’ll have to try this!

    Reply

  2. Sean Mahan


    That first image made my mouth water instantly. It looks so damn delicious! I can’t wait to try it, I’m saving the recipe right now =)

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Sean – I hope you enjoy!

      Reply

  3. Aimee

    Wow, these look beautiful and tasty! I’ve only cooked lamb once and it didn’t go so well so I’ve been hesitant ever since. I think I’ll have to give it a go again. These look to go to pass up.

    Reply

  4. Ben Myhre

    Unfortunately, I have been grilling LESS this summer, but gonna change that by making some burgers today. This dish, however, looks beautiful. Great photos.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Ben. This weekend will definitely be a grilling weekend for me!!! Summer is going by so fast, I need to get out there and grill more for sure.

      Reply

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