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Orzo with Spring Pesto and Lemony Lamb Chops

Serves 4

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 lamb rib chops (if the chops are running small, allow 3 per portion)
  • EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling, plus 5-6 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley 1 bunch
  • 1/2 cup mint, a couple of handfuls
  • A handful, 3 to 4 tablespoons, pistachios or pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • A generous handful of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
PREPARATION

Rub chops with a little EVOO and season chops liberally with salt and pepper. Arrange on broiler pan and preheat broiler.

In a pot with tight fitting lid over medium heat melt butter in a drizzle of EVOO. Add orzo pasta and cook to golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Stir in rice and stock and raise heat to bring to a boil. Cover pot and cook 17-18 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, in a food processor combine parsley, mint, nuts, garlic, cheese, the zest of 1 lemon, salt and pepper. Turn processor on and stream in 4-5 tablespoons of EVOO to make pesto.

Dress tomatoes and scallions with about 1 tablespoon EVOO, then salt and pepper.

Broil chops 3-4 minutes on each side for rare to medium-rare. Squeeze lemon juice over top immediately after you remove them from the oven.

Stir pesto into rice pilaf to combine. Serve chops alongside pesto rice pilaf and tomato salad.

PRESENTATION
COMMENTS