- 16 lamb t-bone chops (not rack)
- 2 bunches mint- leaves only
- fresh thyme- several branches, leaves only
- 1 bunch arugula- washed, trimmed, and spun dry
- 1/3 cup toasted pine-nuts
- 1/3 cup toasted pistachios
- 2 oz ricotta salata or queso cotija
- salt and pepper
- pinch of anise seeds
- olive oil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 jar rose jam (available at all turkish and middle eastern shops. 3
- cups pearl couscou
- s pinch saffron
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 6 fresh roses un-sprayed if possible
the chopped fresh thyme
the anise seeds (optional) not everyone likes anise- but I highly recommend them here!!
about 3 Tb chopped fresh mint leaves
plenty of pepper
in food processor, put half of the prepped mint leaves
the garlic cloves
big splash of olive oil (about 1/4 cup, maybe a little less)
half of the pine nuts
the cheese- crumbled
Pulse til blended but still has some chunky texture. season to taste with salt and pepper, add a pinch of sugar if bitter. Put aside.
heat a heavy bottomed big saute pan, add a splash of olive oil and add the couscous, stirring til oil has coated the grains.
Add the saffron and chicken stock, season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn down heat, stir, cover and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Turn off heat, keep covered for 10 minutes, then turn into a bowl, when you can touch it without being too hot, separate all the grains with your hands. cover the bowl and keep in a warm place.
Chop the remaining pistachios, also coarsely chop the mint leaves and arugula, add to the couscous, with the remaining pine-nuts.
Pile the couscous salad in the center of a large platter or Moroccan bowl.
Arrange the chops around the couscous, drizzle generously with the rose jam, and garnish with mint leaves and rose petals..
serve the mint pesto on the side.