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Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

This elegant Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb is a special treat that calls for a special event dinner. It is a perfect choice for those holiday dinners or a small, intimate gathering.  The crunchy lavender and pistachio crust highlights the succulent, tender flavor of lamb.

Serving of 2 lamb crusted ribs, veggies and a glass of wine

Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

A rack of lamb is an impressive entrée as a main entree for entertaining. This is a simple preparation that will make you look like a gourmet chef!

Cooking with lavender usually brings to mind sweet desserts of pretty cookies like our Lavender Madeleine tea cakes.  Or our show-off desserts of Lavender Panna Cotta with Lemon Syrup and Lacy Lavender Cream Horns.

Lavender honey, fresh lavender blooms, lemon and pistachios

Crunchy pistachios, lavender blooms and lavender honey

Cooking with Lavender – Fresh or Dried

Lavender is becoming quite popular in our kitchens and is no longer confined to the craft making arts. And, it isn’t just for baking those delicious cakes and cookies either. It is a fresh herb and also used in savory dishes.  You can use either fresh or dried lavender in sweet or savory foods. As a matter of fact, it is part of a large family of culinary herbs that we are familiar with including:
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • oregano
  • sage
  • thyme 
Overhead view of 2 lamb ribs, veggies, salad and wine

Dinner of lavender pistachio crusted rack of lamb

 
You can use either fresh or dried lavender in sweet or savory foods. In our recipe for Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb, we used dried lavender buds for the crust and garnished each serving with fresh lavender blooms.
 
Overhead view of coated crust on rack of lamb, dish of mustard sauce and dish of crusting

Ready for the oven

Lavender Facts: 

When purchasing lavender to use in recipes, look for culinary lavender. The essential oil is the flavoring agent of the lavender bloom and found only in the buds. But don’t neglect using the blooms as they add an elegant touch scattered on the finished dish as a garnish.

Overhead view of platter of lavender pistachio crusted lamb

Delicious!

  1.  Culinary lavender is specifically grown and sold as a food crop.
  2. Ornamental lavender is grown commercially for nurseries, floral shops and crafts. These plants are usually treated with pesticides and chemicals and not recommended for cooking.
Do you have a lovely ornamental lavender plant your yard? As long as you have not sprayed it with a toxic substance it is safe to use in your cooking. Go ahead, rob a few of the blooms from the plant.
 
Dried lavender buds, like all dried herbs, have a more concentrated flavor than their fresh blooms. The ratio is the same as any fresh-to-dry herb — three times as much fresh herb as a dried herb. For example, if a recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender buds, you will need only one tablespoon of the dried lavender buds.
 
Also, it is best to finely chop or grind lavender buds before adding to your recipe. Another method is to steep the dried buds in a hot liquid like in our Homemade Lavender Tea and our No-Churn Vanilla-Lavender Ice Cream.
 
The important thing about cooking with lavender is to go easy.   The unique flavor can go from enticingly delicious to overpowering. It is always better to under flavor with lavender.

How to make Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb:

In our area of the U.S. I have only found lamb from three countries. American, Australian and New Zealand lamb. Of the three choices I prefer either New Zealand or Australian lamb as only lambs under 12-months and without incisors can be labeled as lamb. In the U.S. there is no age restriction and I find American lamb to have a stronger, more pronounced lamb flavor. Plus it is considerably more expensive than Australian and New Zealand lamb.
 
 
Roasted rack of lamb on cutting board with knife

Ready to slice up

 
  • We are using an Australian rack of lamb previously trimmed and Frenched.
  • Season the lamb with salt and pepper, then sear it in a hot skillet with a little oil until nicely browned. Transfer it to a plate and reserve while making the crust.
  • Mix the Dijon mustard and garlic are together in a small dish and brush over the top and ends of the meaty part of the lamb.
  • In a shallow dish the add the pistachios, chopped lavender buds, bread crumbs, zest, oil, honey, salt and pepper and together.
  • Set the lamb into the plate of crumbs and with your hands press them into the mustard firmly. Pack the crumbs into the meaty surface, including both ends.
  • Place the crumb-coated rack of lamb on a parchment-lined baking sheet, bone side down and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast for 18-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125-130°F, for medium-rare. Add an additional 5-8 minutes or more doneness of medium, 130 to 135°F.
  • Remove the lamb from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm. Let rest for 10-minutes, before slicing between the bones.
Close-up view of two lamb ribs, veggies, napkin and salad in background

Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

 

What to serve with this Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb:

This was our 54th-anniversary dinner and I served this succulent, lavender pistachio-crusted rack of lamb with our Ricotta Mashed Potatoes, roasted veggies and a crisp green salad.  And….Don cracked open a bottle of his home-crafted 2014 Barbera wine!   It was finished off with a dessert of warm Peach Crisp and vanilla ice cream.   ❤️

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Garlic Rosemary Roasted Rack of Lamb  : Garlic Rosemary Roasted Rack of Lamb elevates this dinner from ‘special’ to extra-special’. We have simply made a paste of olive oil, chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. The mixture was slathered on top of the lamb and roasted in a hot oven.
  • Braised Herb Lamb Shanks :Braising the lamb shanks produce succulent, fall-off-the-bone tender meat that is bursting with flavor from the herb blend, wine and beef broth. 
  • Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder and Root Vegetables:  Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Root Vegetables is a classic Irish feast. The lamb shoulder is moist and tender after a long, slow roasting and the vegetables are cooked to perfection. Serve with a sauce made from the intensely flavorful pan juices

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Close-up view of two lamb ribs, veggies, napkin and salad in background

Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes

This elegant Lavender Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb is a special treat that calls for a special event dinner. It is a perfect choice for those holiday dinners or a small, intimate gathering. The crunchy lavender and pistachio crust highlights the succulent, tender flavor of lamb.

Ingredients

For the Lamb:

  • 1 rack of lamb with 8-bones, about 1-1/2 pounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

For the Lavender Pistachio Crust:

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped roasted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons dried culinary Lavender buds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons lavender honey or regular honey
  • pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Score the fat and season the lamb with the salt and pepper.  In a large skillet set over medium-high, heat the oil and add the lamb turning to brown both sides and the ends.  Transfer to a platter and reserve. 

Prepare the coating:

    1. To a small dish, combine the mustard and garlic together.  Brush a thick layer over the surface and ends of the lamb.  
    2. In a shallow dish or pie plate, add the pistachios, chopped lavender buds, bread crumbs, zest, oil, honey, salt and pepper, blend with a fork to a crumbly texture. 
    3. Set the lamb into the plate of crumbs and with your hands press them into the mustard firmly, covering the meaty surface, including both ends.  You will not need all of the crumb mixture.

Roasting the Lamb:

  1. Place the crumb-coated rack of lamb on the prepared baking sheet, bone side down and transfer to the preheated oven.  Roast for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125-130°F, for medium-rare.  Add an additional 5-8 minutes or more doneness of medium, 130 to 135°F.
  2. Remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm.  Let rest for 10-minutes, before slicing between the bones.
  3. Place sliced lamb on a serving platter and garnish with sprigs of lavender and sprinkle lightly with fresh lavender petals. 

Notes

  • If the rack of lamb does not have the rib bones exposed, ask your butcher to French it for you.
  • It is not necessary to toast the pistachios before adding to the crust mixture as they will toast up nicely while the lamb roasts.
  • An instant-read meat thermometer is recommended for accurate doneness.
  • Roast the lamb for 18 to 20  minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125-130°F, for medium-rare.  Add an additional 5-8 minutes or more doneness of medium, 130 to 135°F.
  • Use lavender blooms fresh or dried in desserts, meat rubs, marinades and beverage.  
  • If you are harvesting lavender blooms for cooking, choose fresh ones that are fully opened

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 Ribs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 800mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Jacqueline Meldrum

Saturday 24th of August 2019

I would never have thought of using lavender. You learn something new every day. It's true.

Dahn Boquist

Saturday 24th of August 2019

Yes lavender is really great with lamb :)

Matt Freund

Saturday 24th of August 2019

This looks great. I want this right now.

Dahn Boquist

Saturday 24th of August 2019

Hope you enjoy ;)

Lisa Huff

Saturday 24th of August 2019

Would never have thought about adding lavender like that to lamb. Genius!! The color is gorgeous too.

Pat Nyswonger

Saturday 24th of August 2019

Thank you, Lisa! So many folks are not aware that lavender can be used in savory recipes. It can be used in anything that calls for rosemary as it is part of the same family. Lavender is one of the ingredients in Herbs de Provence and it gives a light touch to the crust on this rack of lamb.

Joshua

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

This looks incredible! I will have to make this for Sara this week!

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

Hi, Joshua! It is incredible! Let me know how it turns out! Thanks for your comments ?

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