I used to work at a wine bar that served a chilled, red Greek wine in the summer called the Hatzimichalis Fresco Nouveau. Made from the Greek Mavroudi grape, it tasted a lot like a light Beaujolais. Refreshing and fruity, but not cloying, it paired perfectly with all sorts of warm weather fare, from burgers and dogs to grilled veggies and even seafood.
Today's Cook the Book recipe, excerpted from Wine Bar Food, is for a specialty of Athens—Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops with Giant White Beans. Soaking the chops in a bath of wine, garlic, lemon zest, and fresh thyme imparts incredible flavor and a lovely, deep purple hue. Finished on the grill and topped with rosemary-infused white beans, this dish would pair perfectly with any spicy, easy drinking red.
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- Yield:8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course
- For the lamb:
- 1 rack of lamb, cut into 8 chops
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
- For the white beans:
- 1 cup dried giant Peruvian white beans, soaked overnight
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Season the chops with salt and pepper. Lay the chops flat next to one another in a nonreactive 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the onion, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf. Pour in the red wine. Turn the chops over, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once halfway through.
To prepare the beans, place them in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until tender, 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°F.
Drain the beans and transfer to an 8-inch baking dish.
Add the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Prepare a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Remove the chops from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange on the grill and cook until nicely browned and grill marked. 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F when inserted into the thickest part.
To serve, divide the beans among warmed plates. Drizzle some of the garlic-rosemary-infused oil from the pan over the beans. Place the grilled chops on top of the plated beans. Serve immediately.