seared lamb loin chops over pesto zucchini noodles

This dish is delicious and a great way to prepare a healthier version of a pasta dish. The zucchini noodles absorb the fresh flavors of the pesto and tomatoes, and are the perfect lighter pairing to the lamb chops. Lamb loin chops are incredibly tender and flavorful - one of my favorite cuts of lamb - and cook very quickly. I would recommend pairing this dish with a light red wine such as a Pinot Noir. 

  • Lamb loin chops (4 chops, similar in size)

  • Olive oil (6 tablespoons total)

  • Course sea salt (1 and 1/2 teaspoons total)

  • Ground black pepper (1 teaspoon)

  • Fresh garlic (2 tablespoon total, minced)

  • Dijon mustard (1 teaspoon)

  • Fresh basil (1 cup of leaves)

  • Pine nuts (1 tablespoon)

  • Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup, grated plus 2 tablespoons for garnish)

  • Lemon juice (1 tablespoon)

  • Zucchini (3 whole, medium-sized)

  • Cherry tomatoes (1 cup)

  1. Unwrap the lamb chops and place on a plate.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, the fresh garlic and dijon mustard.

  3. Using your fingers, evenly rub the wet paste onto the lamb chops, ensuring they are evenly coated in the marinade.

  4. Place the chops in a plastic bag and let sit for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.

  5. While the chops are marinating, prepare the pesto. In a small food processor, blend the basil, pine nuts, 1 tablespoon of garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a bit of water to the pesto mixture if too thick. Transfer pesto to a small bowl until ready to use.

  6. Using a spiralizer, create zucchini noodles from the 3 whole zucchini. Set aside.

  7. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half on a cutting board. Set aside.

  8. When ready to prepare your dish, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large metal skillet or cast iron pan (either will work and allow for a good crust to develop on the chops). 

  9. Place the chops onto the heated pan and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chops and cook on the other side for 3 more minutes. When a golden-brown crust has formed and the chops are cooked through, transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the zucchini noodles.

  10. In a separate deep skillet, add the pesto and heat over low heat. Add the cut cherry tomatoes and saute in the pesto for 2 to 3 minutes, until the begin to break down and release juice into the pesto sauce.

  11. Add the raw zucchini noodles to the pesto and tomato mixture. Gently toss with tongs to ensure they are evenly coated and cooked through. Cook for 2 more minutes, until the entire mixture is hot. Taste a noodle to ensure proper seasoning; add additional salt if necessary.

  12. To serve, transfer the zucchini noodles to a large bowl. Top with the cooked lamb chops and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.