Roasted Rack of Lamb with Tapenade, Lebanese Couscous Salad and Grilled Flatbread
Chef Geoff Gardner of Sel de la Terre – Boston, MA
Adapted by

Yield: 6 Servings


  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared whole grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

    Tapenade Crust:
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ thinly sliced Spanish onion
  • 1 cup black Kalamata olives, pitted
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 3 (1¼-pounds) half-racks of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
  • Marinade
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Tapenade crust

    Couscous Salad:
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked Lebanese couscous*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • ¼ cup radishes, ¼-inch diced and blanched
  • ¼ cup asparagus, ¼-inch diced and blanched
  • ¼ cup red pepper, ¼-inch diced and blanched
  • ¼ cup parsnips, ¼-inch diced and blanched
  • ½ cup chicken bouillon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Scallion Flatbread:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cold water


For Marinade:

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

For Tapenade Crust:
Mash anchovy and garlic together to make a paste. In a heavy-bottomed frying pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown. Place mixture in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Allow to cool.

For Lamb:
Coat the lamb evenly with the marinade and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat oven to 450°F.

Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper. In heavy-bottomed frying pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add lamb rack to the pan and brown evenly on all sides. Remove from heat and brush top side of the meat with a thin layer of Dijon mustard. With a metal spatula, coat top side of meat evenly with the tapenade mixture. Wrap the exposed bones of the racks with aluminum foil. Roast the racks in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until medium rare. Remove from oven and let lamb rest for 3 minutes before carving.

For Couscous Salad:
Combine the orange juice, vinegar, wine and olive oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower heat to allow mixture to simmer. Reduce the liquid by half and reserve. Add the remaining ingredients to orange juice mixture. Mix thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

* Lebanese couscous may be found at Middle Eastern markets or specialty stores. To cook, place 1½ cups of un-cooked couscous into salted boiling water. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes until tender. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again.

For Scallion Flatbread:
Combine all ingredients except water. Knead the ingredients together by hand, adding the water in small increments, until the dough is firm yet smooth. Continue to knead lightly for 1-2 minutes. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness in a 12-inch by 18-inch rectangle. Place the dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, approximately 8-10 minutes. Allow the bread to cool slightly. Cut into 12 large elongated triangles.

To Assemble and Serve:
Carve each lamb rack to separate the 8 chops. On each serving plate, place the couscous slightly above center. Place 4 chops fanned out on each bed of couscous. Wedge 2 flatbread triangles between the chops and the couscous, sticking straight up for height. Serve immediately.


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   Published: April 2006