Charmoula may be best described as Middle Eastern pesto. Chef-author Molly Stevens version is packed with fresh herbs like parsley, mint and cilantro and enhanced with smoky paprika, toasted cumin, and plenty of garlic. Some of it is used to marinate the lamb, and the remainder is served at the table as a finishing sauce.
While the lamb chops cook in a high heated oven for only 11 minutes, they need to marinate in the charmoula for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours) and sit at room temperature for an hour before roasting.
This recipe paired the lamb with asparagus and shallot, however we had kale and red onions on hand and therefore opted to make a roasted side dish out of them instead.
Roasted Lamb Loin Chops with Charmoula
- 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 3 sweet smoked paprika (pimentón dulce); or sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 8 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 2/3 lbs.)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and toast until aromatic and slightly darker, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Transfer to processor.
- Add parsley leaves and next 6 ingredients to processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarse paste forms. With machine running, gradually add 4 tablespoons oil.
- Transfer 2 tablespoons charmoula to small bowl; whisk in lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
- Cover and chill to serve with lamb.
- Transfer remaining charmoula to large resealable plastic bag. Add lamb chops; seal bag and turn to coat well. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Let lamb and charmoula sauce in bowl stand at room temperature 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 500°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place rack on prepared baking sheet. Place lamb on rack and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 130°F for medium-rare, about 13 minutes. Transfer lamb to platter. Tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
- Place 2 lamb chops on each of 4 plates. Drizzle lamb with charmoula sauce, passing remaining sauce alongside.
Original recipe from All About Roasting by Molly Stevens