This quick-cooking recipe is made with Moroccan-style seasonings and harissa paste stirred into the chickpea mixture to add a little kick and depth to the dish. If you have more time on your hands, feel free to marinate the lamb chops for a longer, but make sure to take them out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you cook them so that they cook evenly.
Similarly, you could also substitute the lamb for another protein like chicken, shrimp or scallops or even make it entirely vegetarian by tossing the chickpea mixture with quinoa or farro and perhaps adding some crumbled feta to finish it off.
While I cook everything in a skillet and it does add for a lot of convenience, a perhaps more foolproof and controlled way of cooking the lamb chops is to sear the chops and then finish cooking them in the oven to the internal temperature of your choice. I prefer mine on the more medium side of medium rare, usually at around 130 degrees, then let it rest so it finishes cooking a little more as it rests. I also tend to like my dishes cumin heavy, so if you don't operate that way, feel free to reduce the cumin amount.
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 lamb rib chops
- 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- ½ cup homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
- 2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 3 cups packed fresh spinach leaves (about 3/4 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
- 1/2 cup fresh picked cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil for serving
In a mixing bowl, combine cumin, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Season the chops with the spice mix and set aside.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chops and cook without moving for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 130°F as registered on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from pan and set aside on cutting board, tenting loosely with foil.
Return pan to medium heat without wiping it out. Add the shallots, cook until softened, about 1 minute, then add the stock, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the chickpeas and harissa and stir to combine. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the spinach and cook until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon juice and half of cilantro off-heat. Transfer to serving plates, top with lamb chops, sprinkle with remaining cilantro, drizzle with olive oil, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.