OK, let's just get this out of the way, and I won't have to spend the rest of the post fighting it …
Believe me, if we hadn't done that, there would have been double entendres buried through the rest of this post.
The first thing I did was take the lamb and break it down into chops, mostly so I could take this picture …
… but also because I needed chops for the dish.
I like lamb chops. Don't have them often, but I never had a doubt these would be good. They were rubbed with lemon zest and mint before the grilling, and that sounded like a fine idea.
My doubts crept in with the pesto. I've only had broccoli rabe a couple of times. Mostly because I never wanted it again after the couple times I had it. So I picked up a … whatever unit of measure broccoli rabe comes in at Worden Farms' stand at Saturday Morning Market and hoped for the best.
The rabe is blanched and the pesto goes together with capers, anchovy, mustard and garlic, so there was reason for hope.
It all goes into a food processor looking like this ...
... and it comes out looking like this ...
The plate also got goat milk yogurt flavored with cumin, a sauce of red pepper and sherry vinegar -- yum -- and some parsley oil. So, it was beautiful.
The lamb chops were as good as I expected them to be, and the pesto was spectacular. I don't know if I got the best specimen of broccoli rabe ever, or if something magical happens at Worden Farms, but it wasn't bitter at all, just extremely bright and vibrant, with highlights from all the strong flavors in it. I knew I wouldn't use all the pesto on the plates, and before trying it, wondered what I would do with the leftovers. Mainly, I assumed I would let it sit in the fridge for a few days before I threw it out. Instead, it ended up on pasta, the next night.
Epilogue: This was the last session for my gas grill. I tried to clean it the next morning, and things just started disintegrating under the pressure of the brush. It was 3 years old.
Jeremy Bowers is arranging a proper memorial.
I have decided to take a little time to work through my grief before replacing it. Partly because of the intense emotions involved, partly because our pool and patio are being renovated, and partly because I am about to go to the International Housewares show in Chicago, and suspect I may find something awesome there. But mostly the grief thing.
Up next: gardening, part I