Yogurt sauce is a classic Greek accompaniment to lamb. Chef Smith amps up the flavor, beginning with a garlicky marinade for the lamb and a yogurt sauce spiked with peppers instead of the typical mint. She also adds depth to the veggies with a healthy splash of vermouth.
Lamb with Artichokes, Fava Beans, and Yogurt
For the lamb
- 2 racks of lamb, about 1-1/4 lb. each, chine bones removed, and meat trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
- 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon (removed with a vegetable peeler)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 10 medium cloves garlic, peeled and lightly pressed to split
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from the branch
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the vegetable mixture
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 oz. morel or shiitake mushrooms, cleaned (stems removed if using shiitakes) and sliced
- 6 oz. jar marinated artichokes, drained
- 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
- 6 Tbs. dry vermouth
- 1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh or frozen fava beans, peeled
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups whole-milk Greek-style yogurt, stirred until smooth
- 1 jar of hot goat horn peppers in oil (or any mild or hot peppers packed in oil of your choice)
Marinate the lamb
- Place the lamb in a baking dish. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl and mix well. Rub the marinade into the meat to coat all sides evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 and up to 24 hours.
Cook the lamb
- Let the lamb sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
- Brush off the pieces of rosemary, garlic, and lemon peel from the lamb, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a dry, 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Place the lamb racks, fat side down, in the skillet and sear for 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the lamb and sear for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate and pour off the fat from the skillet. Return the racks to the skillet, bone side down, and roast in the oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, until an instant read thermometer registers 125°F for rare, or 130°F for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest.
Prepare the vegetables
- Heat the olive oil in the cleaned skillet until shimmering hot. Add the mushrooms, marinated artichokes, thyme, and 1 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until reduced by half. Add the chicken broth and fava beans, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the butter, lemon zest, and the cayenne, and swirl the pan until the butter is incorporated. Season to taste with salt.
- Put the Greek yogurt into a medium bowl and stir until smooth and light. Let the yogurt sit about 10 minutes.
- Spoon 1/4 cup of the yogurt onto each of eight plates and spread out slightly. Top with 4 to 5 strips of peppers. Pour 1 Tbs. of the oil from the jar of peppers over the yogurt.
- Cut the racks of lamb into separate chops. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the vegetable mixture over the yogurt. Arrange 2 lamb chops on each plate and serve.