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  hiro sone &
        lissa doumani


Medallions of Lamb with Anchovy-Black Olive Sauce and Artichoke Fritters

Reprinted with permission from Terra: Cooking from the Heart of Napa Valley by Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani. Photography by Kiroaki Ishii and Kaoru Sakuraba. Copyright 2000.
Ten Speed Prees, Berkeley, CA.
Adapted by StarChefs

"Anchovy with lamb?" That's the response we hear whenever we put this dish on the menu. So we're used to explaining that the anchovy here is not a dominant presence, but is used, in the manner of French and Italian cooking, to intensify and add depth to the sauce. With its bold flavors of kalamata olives, white wine, tomato, caper, lemon zest, and, yes, anchovy, this is a lusty sauce that's a great match for a big cabernet. You can find chickpea flour in health food stores and Indian markets. It makes a light, flavorful batter that gives fried foods a beautiful golden finish. If you don't want to deep-fry the artichokes, you can simply sauté them, or substitute another vegetable. It's fine to use store-bought tapenade in the sauce.

Suggested Wine Pairing: Try a full bodied red with earthy herbal flavors.
PlumpJack Cabernet Sauvignon or Panza Petite Syrah would both be good matches.

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 (8-ounce) lamb loins, trimmed of silver skin
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of chopped fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of chopped fresh thyme

Chickpea Batter:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup hot water

Anchovy-Black Olive Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup veal or chicken stock link to starchefs recipe
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato puree
  • Pinch of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons minced kalamata olives
  • 1/8 teaspoon minced anchovy fillet
  • ¼ teaspoon minced capers
  • Pinch of minced lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 4 large artichokes, cooked and quartered
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 16 sugar snap peas, stemmed and blanched
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 2 cups hot mashed potatoes
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish

To marinate the lamb loins, coat them with the olive oil and sprinkle on all sides with the herbs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

To make the batter, combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup hot water until smooth, adding the remaining 1 cup water if necessary (the batter will be very thick). Set aside.

To start the sauce, in a medium saucepan heat the butter and garlic together over high heat and sauté the garlic until lightly browned. Add the wine and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Add the stock, tomato purée, and rosemary, and cook until reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside. Just before serving, heat the sauce and then whisk in the olives, anchovy, capers, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste (it won't need much salt, since the olives and anchovy are salty).

To cook the lamb loins, heat a large grill pan or sauté pan over high heat until very hot. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and grill for 2 minutes, then turn at a 45-degree angle on the same side to make cross marks and cook for 1 minute. Turn the loins over and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer for medium rare. Let rest in a warm place.

Meanwhile, to deep-fry the fritters, preheat the oven to 250°F. Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep, heavy pot to 350°F. Add the artichokes and onion to the batter. Using a large spoon, scoop some of the batter, making sure you get some artichokes and onion in each scoop. Fry for about 3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted metal spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a baking sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan or skillet over high heat, add the snap peas, and sauté for about 1 minute, or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, finish the sauce. Put ½ cup of mashed potatoes in the center of each of 4 warmed plates. Put one fourth of the fritters on the upper side of the mashed potatoes. Spoon the sauce on the lower side of the mashed potatoes and arrange the snap peas between the fritters and the sauce. Cut each lamb loin into 5 medallions and place them on the sauce in a semicircle. Garnish with the fresh rosemary sprigs.