This is my version of a recipe we had on the menu at the restaurant I used to work at. I think this is a great summer meal, and tastes best when grilled outside! Allowing the salad to marinate while you cook the chops really lets the flavors of the vegetables shine through. I like my salads to be a touch aggressive with the vinegar, as the fat of the lamb eventually mixes with it, rounding it out, rather than dampening the flavor. Any feta will do here (although a mildly creamy Bulgarian feta is especially nice), but please do buy block feta and crumble it rather than buying the pre-crumbled stuff. It tastes so much better. And serve this with a little grilled pita, and you've got a great one dish meal! —Helen
Test Kitchen Notes
If you have never cooked lamb blade chops before, here's your excuse to go out and buy some. This dish is simple, lush and fresh: summer grilling at its finest. Helen advises "aggressive" seasoning throughout, and we heartily agree -- the right amount of salt and pepper will make this sing. And you will be similarly rewarded if you put together the Greek salad about an hour ahead of time, allowing the vegetables time to release some of their own juices into the dressing. We used about 1/2 cup sliced red onion (more would overwhelm the other salad ingredients) and added 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. - A&M —The Editors
The Greek Salad
large, ripe tomato
hothouse cucumber, peeled
capers (rinsed if salt packed)
green pepper (or red. or yellow.)
stuffed grape leaves
finely ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
lamb blade chops
coarsely ground black pepper. more like sand than like powder.
Dice the tomato, cucumber, and pepper into bite sized pieces. Thinly slice the red onion. Toss together with capers and olives, a pinch of dried oregano (but don't over do it, it gets overwhelming quickly), aggressively season with salt and pepper, and dress with olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste. Allow to sit at room temperature while you cook the lamb.
20 minutes before you want to grill, pull the chops out of the fridge. Season aggressively with salt and pepper, and generously with dried oregano and ground coriander on both sides. Really press it in. Grill over a medium-high heat until nicely charred on the outside, and delightfully pink on the inside. The meat should feel tender but not soft.
Divide the salad between two plates, add two stuffed grape leaves to each. Crumble half the feta over each plate. Place the hot-from-the-grill lamb over the salad, and drizzle the whole plate with high quality olive oil to finish. Enjoy!