Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallot and Thyme Crust

When I was brainstorming dinner ideas last week, I was not really inspired by anything in particular, except the need to “cultivate” the crops of our Aerogarden. We’ve been using the basil to make Insalata Caprese, but the thyme and oregano have been growing like crazy and needed to be used. So I consulted one of my favorite cooking sites and found this recipe which looked amazing. I mean, who doesn’t love caramelized onions and herbs and lamb chops?!

The recipe originally suggested to accompany the lamb with Stir-Fried Spinach or Potato Gratin, both of which sound delicious. I opted for simple Roasted Asparagus and Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns just to add more greenery to the meal.

For other rack of lamb recipes, try the Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mustard Glaze or the Baby Lamb Chops with Cucumber-Mint Relish.

Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallot and Thyme Crust (from Epicurious)

Yields: 2-3 servings


  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 C fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 T chopped fresh thyme leaves or 2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • a frenched rack of lamb (7 or 8 ribs) at room temperature, trimmed of as much fat as possible
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a small skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook shallots with salt and pepper to taste, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and boil until liquid is evaporated. Remove skillet from heat and stir in bread crumbs, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

Season lamb with salt and pepper and arrange, ribs side down, in a small roasting pan. Spread meat side with mustard and pat on crumb mixture evenly. Roast lamb in middle of oven until a meat thermometer registers 135°F.  For medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes.

Carefully transfer lamb to a cutting board and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Slice lamb into chops. Serve with Roasted Asparagus, Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns, and Insalata Caprese.


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