Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lamb Chops with Fava Beans and Mint Dressing

The daffodils are up, and spring is in the air!  At least here in North Carolina...

Fava beans are a serious pain in the neck to prepare, but they are absolutely worth it at least once a year.  And since the season for them is very short, that's usually all the time I have.  By the time the next year rolls around, I remember the smooth fresh silkiness far more than I remember the hassle.  Sort of like pregnancy, I guess.

This meal will serve four if you add salad and couscous.

2 lb whole fava beans - look for big, fresh ones
1 handful mint
4 lamb loin chops - about 1 1/2 pounds
2 Meyer lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - preferably Greek
Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Shell the fava beans
  2. Cover the beans with cold water and set over a medium flame.  Cook until the beans are fragrant and just turning from bright green to slightly yellow.  Put into a colander and spray with cold water to stop cooking.
  3. Salt the chops lightly and let them sit for a few minutes.  Broil the lamb chops on low heat for about 15 minutes on the first side, turning midway, and about 10 minutes on the second side, turning midway
  4. When the beans have cooled, pinch each one to remove the tough outer skin.  Put the inner beans into a bowl.
  5. Add the zest of one of the Meyer lemons and the juice of both of them to the bowl.
  6. Clean and chop the mint and add it to the bowl.
  7. Add the olive oil and stir briskly with a wooden spoon.
  8. Serve the lamb chops with the fava bean/mint dressing and with couscous.