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
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
1Step 1: marinate the lamb chops for 30mins before grilling in:
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
2Step 2: mint pesto:
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.
3Step 3: for the couscous:
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.
4Step 4: Grill the lamb chops. add salt while grilling them.
5Step 5: to serve:
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.