2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
2–3 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 tbsp white wine
16 lamb chops
16 spears asparagus, trimmed if necessary
mint leaves, to garnish
lemon wedges, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 30 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Place the garlic and rosemary in a mortar, add a pinch of salt and pound with the pestle until the garlic breaks down into a paste. Add the olive oil and wine and mix well. Set aside.
Bash the chops with a meat mallet. This process will tenderise the meat as well as increase the surface area the marinade can stick to. Massage the lamb chops with the garlic marinade, making sure they are evenly coated. Place the chops in a non-reactive bowl or plastic container, cover with a lid or plastic film and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water for 1–2 minutes or until tender, but still firm to the touch. Drain, then rinse under cold water to preserve the vivid green color. Season to taste with salt, then finish with a drizzle of extra olive oil and a scattering of mint leaves.
Heat up a chargrill pan or a coal barbecue. Cook the chops on both sides over very high heat until scorched but still succulent. The cooking time depends on the thickness of the chops and of course your personal taste, but as a guide, for medium, cook on both sides for 2–3 minutes. Cover the chops with foil and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Arrange the chops and asparagus on a large serving platter, squeeze a little lemon juice over the top and serve hot.
• Oregano will work just as well in this dish, complementing the lamb with a delightful aromatic warmth.
This recipe is from Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca.