Pistachio-Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb is a wildly delicious blend of flavors that will totally wow your guests! Using Aussie lamb, this is a gorgeous dish for any spring occasion, it would be the star at Easter!
I’m grateful to True Aussie Beef and Lamb for sponsoring this post. I only write about and cook with brands I believe in. To find out where to buy Aussie Lamb near you visit True Aussie Beef and Lamb.
I was especially excited about serving this Pistachio-Mint Crusted Aussie Rack of Lamb at the event I recently hosted and catered for True Aussie Beef and Lamb.
It presented so beautifully and the combination of flavors was out of this world.
It seems mint and lamb have always been served together. We usually see mint jelly with lamb, and that’s how my mom always served it. 🙂
In this recipe, I’ve made a pesto with fresh mint, pistachios, Parmesan and olive oil. It forms a lovely crust and eliminates any need for a sauce.
Why is mint traditionally served with lamb?
There’s not a solid answer for this — but, this theory makes the most sense to me . . .
In medieval times, when local and seasonal eating was the norm, whatever herbs, fruits or vegetables happened to be ripe on the farm when certain meats were available, is what would be eaten together.
It just so happened that mint was available when lamb was being served, and our taste buds became accustomed to these flavors together.
And why not? It’s delicious!
What is a Frenched rack of lamb?
First, a rack of lamb is a section of ribs, usually eight chops, in one piece.
A Frenched rack of lamb is one that's had the meat, fat and membranes that connect the individual rib bones, removed. This gives it a clean look for an elegant presentation.
It’s easy to learn to do this at home, but you can also find packaged Aussie lamb racks in stores that have already been Frenched.
photo credit: Merry Graham / amerryrecipe.com
As I said when we made the Asparagus Aussie Lamb Crostini a few days ago, Aussie Lamb is incredible -- the quality and flavor is exceptional.
The wide open spaces in Australia allow producers to have a natural approach to ranching that enables animals to roam freely and without stress. Since the lamb is free-range and feeds on abundant pasturelands, its flavor is mild and it's naturally lean and tender.
Aussie Lamb is a totally pure product of its environment, free of artificial additives and hormone growth promotants. It's a healthy choice because it's lean, high in protein, and naturally contains thirteen essential nutrients, including Iron, Zinc, Omega-3 and B vitamins.
photo credit:Merry Graham / amerryrecipe.com
How to Make it
Pistachio-Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb is an impressive recipe it's easy to make! There are 4 steps . . .
- Make the Pistachio-Mint Pesto. Everything gets blended together in a food processor.
- Sear. The racks of lamb are seasoned with salt and pepper, and placed in a very hot pan with olive oil, for just a couple of minutes.
- Assemble. The pesto is spread onto the racks of lamb.
- Roast. The pesto-coated racks are roasted until their internal temperature is about 130°F.
What to Serve With it
Ideas . . .
- Rosemary Potatoes Confit
- Fried Lemon Caesar Salad
- Mashed Okinawan Sweet Potatoes
- Asparagus Parmesan Salad with Pickled Shallots
This would be a gorgeous centerpiece for any spring occasion and would be especially lovely for Easter Sunday.
More of our favorite recipes with lamb:
- Lamb Lasagna
- Rosemary Lamb Skewers
- Spring Lamb Stew with Green Garlic
- Ground Lamb and Mushroom Penne Gratin
Pistachio-Mint Crusted Aussie Rack of Lamb
- 2 cups packed mint leaves (about 3 bunches), washed and dried
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ⅓ cup pistachios, toasted (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus some for the pan
- 2 Aussie racks of lamb, trimmed and Frenched
- salt, pepper and sugar to taste
- Heat the oven to 375°F.
- In a food processor, with the blade attachment, make the pesto by blending the mint with the Parmesan, and toasted pistachios. Then gradually blend in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. (Here's How to Season to Taste.) Set aside.
- Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over high heat. Season the lamb racks generously with salt and pepper and sear in the pan once it’s hot. You should hear a sizzling sound when the meat hits the pan — if you don’t hear a sizzle, wait for it until the pan is hot enough! Brown both sides of each rack, about 1 minute per side.
- Divide the pesto among the two racks of lamb, and use a small off-set spatula to spread it evenly.
- Place crumpled foil in the middle of a roasting pan large enough to comfortably hold the racks. Add the racks, with the bones up, leaning on the foil. Roast them until rare to medium rare. Use a meat thermometer to check them; the internal temperature should be 125°F to 130°F, about 25 minutes.
- Allow the racks to rest for at least 10 minutes and then slice into chops. Do this by holding the rack with the bones pointing up. Then slide the knife between each chop, resting the blade against the bone.
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I didn't know the history behind mint being served with lamb. Thank you for that info, as I find that so interesting. I LOVED this recipe. The pistachio and mint crust gives this lamb dish such a beautiful flavor and texture.
I'm so happy you were there to try this one, Cathy. Happy, happy Easter! XO
Wow, you were one busy girl! GREG
Indeed. Thanks for checking it out. 🙂
Happy Easter to all who celebrate from Australia ! No need to praise lamb to us: we know and love and eat - at Easter and all other times we can afford 🙂 ! And, for us, mint is an absolute essential alongside . . . must say I have not put pistachios in the crust but shall try. But, please our lambs are farmed on sheep stations . . . . we know but never use the American word 'ranch' 🙂
Thank you, Eha. I do love mint with lamb and have ever since my mom used to serve it when I was a kid with the jelly. 🙂 I hope you have a lovely (& delicious) weekend!
What a feast! The lamb rack is perfectly juicy and tender.
Thanks, Angie. It was. 🙂 Enjoy.
David @ Spiced
Wow, this is stunning, Valentina! Seriously some of the best photos you've ever posted! 🙂 I think I know who I'm inviting to Easter dinner this year. Haha! Also, I found that story about mint and lamb super interesting. Who knows if it's true, but it makes logical sense to me! Hope you have a great weekend ahead, my friend!
Thanks so much, David, for all of the kind words. 🙂 Yes, who knows about the mint and lamb -- another theory, though not as delightful, is that when people ate mutton, they used the mint to help balance it's strong flavor. Whatever the case, I love them together. Wishing you and your family a happy holiday weekend. 🙂
Kelly | Foodtasia
Valentina, rack of lamb is such a special dish and your pistachio mint crust is brilliant! Such lovely flavors! We get Australian lamb in Dubai and it's excellent. This will be on our table soon, I'm sure the family will go crazy over it!
Many thanks, Kelly. I'm happy you've tried and like the Australian lamb. 🙂 So yummy! Enjoy and have a great weekend.
My mouth is literally watering looking at the images of this succulent lamb! That pistachio mint crust is simply spectacular!
Marissa, thank you! Hope you have a great (& delicious) weekend. 🙂
I hope it’s okay with you if I make this for Easter Monday! I have a student coming over who requested rack of lamb for her graduation dinner… I was going to make my mom‘s recipe, but I think yours will be quite fun, especially since I have tons of mint in the garden and a lot of pistachios in the fridge (from our visit to Sicily).
Wow, Sicilian pistachios. I bet they're delicious. And hey, this recipe has no garlic. 😀 I hope you love it!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
It's been such a while since we've had lamb and this is a DELICIOUS reminder to go and grab some. Heck, wish I could grab some from my screen 😉 That pistachio mint combo is heavenly, my friend! Talk about a flavour bomb. This, some vino and crusty bread and I'm set. Pinned! Happy Easter weekend!!
Oh yum - now I want the crusty bread and vino! 🙂 Hope you and yours had a lovely Easter. Thanks for stopping by, as always. 🙂
Easter is now past, but that doesn't stop one from having this dish anytime. We can't have most nuts, but pine nuts work. I think I might try this with pine nuts the next time I cook a rack. What do you think Chef Valentina?
I think it would be delicious, Ron! Enjoy and I hope you had a lovely holiday. 🙂
Oh dear, mint on my balcony, local butcher across; who would search for anything better than your suggestion, although Easter gone but never too late for good food 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much !!!
This one is good any day! Especially during springtime! Lucky you to have your own fresh mint and a good butcher nearby. 🙂 Enjoy and thank you1
Karen (Back Road Journal)
Your pistachio pesto sounds perfect with your lamb...of course, I would still have to put mint jelly on the table for my husband. 🙂
Ha! I love mint jelly, too. 🙂 Since my mom always served it with lamb, I will always associate the two and love it. Thanks for visiting and enjoy!
This sounds so good, I can't believe I've never heard of pistachio and mint together, but it sounds like such an obviously fantastic flavor combination to pair with lamb. I adore pistachios! And I haven't had lamb in forever. This would've been great for Easter, obviously, but I'd have it any time.
It's a great combination, Jeff. I hope you try it. Thanks so much for checking it out!
This looks amazing! I know these flavors will just work so well with lamb.
Many thanks, James! Enjoy.
I am still dreaming about these lamb chops Valentina - seriously one of the MOST DELICIOUS things I have ever eaten! We've got some friends coming over for dinner in a few weeks and guess what is on the menu? These chops! My advice to anyone reading this comment - make these chops ASAP - they are amazing!!!
Nancy, thank you so very much! I really appreciate it, and even more, I'm so happy you enjoyed them. 🙂 I hope your guests love them, too.
My sister's partner is a sheep farmer, although in a different state so I am unable to enjoy their product. None the less we eat a lot of lamb, as do most Australians. It can get a little expensive out of season but still it remains a favourite.
My Nanna used to make mint sauce with her roast lamb.... simply mint, a little sugar beaten to a paste in a mortar to which she added malt vinegar....mmmmm.
I very much like the sound of the crust using pistachio
I love the sound of your Nanna's mint sauce. Simple and delicious. Thanks for visiting my recipes, as always. 🙂 ~Valentina
We had ham last weekend, so will be making rack of lamb for Easter! My parents always had a jar of mint jelly on the table when lamb was for dinner. Thanks for the great recipe and fun memories!
Hi Liz. I grew up with the mint jelly and lamb too. I LOVED it and hadn't thought about that delicious food memory in a very long time. So thank you for that. 🙂 ~Valentina
I could never handle the gross green jelly, although my mother never served it. I guess it’s definitely not a French thing! But I love that you included mint in this pesto. And those photos!!! Happy Easter!