Chef Julien Laffargue, of Ricarda’s, shares his go-to spring date night meal of pistachio crusted lamb with fresh morels. Spring marks the start of the morel season in Ontario, so what better time to start incorporating them into the kitchen. These fungi have a distinctive honeycomb appearance and are a prized ingredient in gourmet cooking. Farmer's markets and a select few grocery stores will carry the fungi, but if you cannot find fresh morels you can always use dried ones.
Chef Julien also accompanies the flavours of the lamb with a sweet and savoury maple syrup and mustard glaze, a medley of roasted vegetables and a spicy smashed nduja potato, sprinkled with smoked paprika.
With spring in full bloom, nothing marks a better occasion than to make Ricarda's original recipe for pistachio crusted lamb -- as the perfect way to celebrate seasonal spring ingredients!
If you give this recipe a shot, make sure to post up your creation on Instagram and tag @tastetoronto and @ricardas.to!
Pistachio Dusted Lamb Chops with Roasted Vegetables, Fresh Morels and Nduja Potatoes 8 Steps
Wash the morels, then cut in half.
Blanch the carrots, pearl onions, asparagus and morels, all separately (can be in the same water) and cool down in an ice bath. Drain.
On a baking tray with foil, place the blanched vegetables tossed with olive oil, as much chopped garlic as you like, a few stalks of thyme and salt. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
Toast the pistachios in a small pan over medium heat, until golden, then crush.
Mix the maple syrup and mustard together.
Boil the potato in a pot of salted water. Once tender, drain. Cut in half, remove the skin if you like, and crush with a fork, adding smoked paprika and nduja while you crush/mash.
Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper. Sear in a hot pan, and finish in the oven at 375 degrees Celsius until medium rare (medium rare at 125°F internal temperature). When cooked, glaze the chops with the maple syrup and mustard, and dust with the crushed pistachio.
Place potato on the plate, pile chops over the potato, then place vegetables around. Enjoy!