Rack of Lamb with Smoked Eggplant, Olive and Gigande Beans

Photo: Christopher Testani/AMC

Serves 4

  • 1 cup dried Gigande beans
  • Bay leaf
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking lamb
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 (8-rib) racks of lamb (1½ pounds each), Frenched Mizuna, for garnish

Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain and cook in abundant fresh water with the bay leaf until tender, 1 to1-1/2 hours. Let beans cool in the liquid. When cool, drain the beans. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil and add the garlic and shallot. Cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and paprika and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and stir well to coat. Set aside.

Place the eggplant directly on top of gas burners on the stovetop, over medium flame. Turn occasionally until blackened on all sides, and collapsing, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, cook eggplant on a gas grill or under a broiler. Put eggplant in a bowl and let stand until cool. Peel the eggplant and transfer to a food processor along with yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Use a mini food processor to create a chunky puree with the olives and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Use more oil as needed to thin.

Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat, coat with oil and sear until well browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a 400° oven to roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until an internal temperature of 120° is reached. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes. Slice into individual chops.

Place some of the smoked eggplant and olive paste on each of 4 plates, and top with 2 chops and a spoonful of beans. Garnish with mizuna.

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