The gentle garlic nature of green garlic is the ideal complement to the richness of lamb chops—mint chutney keeps things fresh.
Spring lamb is seasonal because, well, spring is when true baby lambs were available. Lamb is, technically, under a year old, so we can get lamb year-round (imports from New Zealand and Australia, with opposite seasons from North America, help the matter), but if you pay attention, you’ll notice lamb in the spring is more tender than other times of the year. The chops here are treated simply with a bit of green garlic for more spring-y flavor.
- 8 lamb chops
- 2 stalks green garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 bunch 8-10 sprigs fresh mint
- 1 bunch cilantro or flat-leaf parsley if you don’t like cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-2 hot green chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
- Pat the chops dry and set aside.
- Trim and mince—really chop it!—the green garlic. In a small bowl, combine the green garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Slather the chops all over with the resulting paste and let sit for at least 30 minutes (or cover with plastic wrap and chill up to 4 hours; bring back to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking).
- While the lamb sits, make the chutney: Put the mint and cilantro (or parsley) leaves in a blender or food processor; peel and chop the garlic and add it to the herbs; stem, seed, and roughly chop the chile(s) and add them; add the salt and lemon juice; pulse all of the ingredients until they make a sauce. Add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, swirl to coat the pan and add the lamb chops in a single layer. Let them cook, undisturbed, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook until browned on the other side, 3 to 4 more minutes. (This timing will result in medium-rare to medium chops; cook less time for rare and more time for well.)
- Serve the chops with the chutney for diners to add as they like.