GRILLED LAMB LOIN CHOPS WITH LEMON THYME & BALSAMIC DRIZZLE

Grilled lamb and summer are perfect companions. When crowds arrive for dinner and smell the plate of just-cooked lamb chops, they want to sit down immediately. No worries, these chops can sit out for an hour while guests wait for other guests and sip cocktails. Best of all, the hostess finds no need to stand over a hot grill, but rather may enjoy the arrival of friends. A mezze platter with freshly made hummus, grilled lemon pita chips, harissa, and a garlic, lemon & mint infused sauce provide perfect serve it yourself accompaniments. My favorite "salad" to serve with these chops are watermelon, basil, and feta kebobs drizzled with the same balsamic vinegar that finishes the lamb. This gorgeous platter and all the small plates above will be front and center on my Easter buffet table. Grilling these chops in the morning and then packing them in a cold cooler make for an extravagant, even romantic picnic lunch--just remember to pack napkins!

Nota bene: Lamb chops are traditionally prepared medium rare, but even if you must cook to medium they are still delicious. 

Ingredients

  • 12 lamb loin chops

  • 16 sprigs lemon thyme

  • Olive oil

  • Zest of one lemon

  • Aged balsamic vinegar

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

1. Preheat grill to highest temperature.

2. Generously salt and pepper each chop.

3. Put lamb chops on a rimmed baking sheet and generously coat the chops all over with olive oil.

4. Pull the thyme leaves off 12 sprigs and rub on the chops. Then rub on the lemon zest.

5. Let lamb sit for thirty minutes until chops come to room temperature.

6. Before you place the chops on the hot grill, turn the grill temperature to low. Place chops on the grill and close the hood. The grill will be hot enough to sear the outside, but not overcook the lamb or turn the meat black.

7. Cook to desired doneness (about 2-3 minutes). Remove chops and place them on a serving platter. Drizzle judiciously with aged balsamic vinegar. Just a touch is enough to bring out the succulent earthy nature of the lamb.

Serves 6