Rack of Lamb w/ Morel Compote & Nettle Puree

Sarah Mickey All Recipes, Spring Recipes 2021 2 Comments


Thyme Perfumed Grilled Rack of Lamb, Compote of Morel Mushrooms and Vidalia Onions, Grits Cakes, Nettle Purée

This dish is an excellent main course to serve at an elegant dinner party in the spring. There are several different components here, all featuring terrific seasonal ingredients. First, stinging nettles are boiled, then cooked with butter, cornmeal, and garlic to produce a thick pureé with wonderful nutty and garlicky flavors, pairing nicely with the buttery Parmesan cheese-flavored grits cakes. The lamb is prepared simply by grilling with whole sprigs of fresh thyme that result in the infusion of aromatic yet subtle herb flavor.

The most important component of this dish is the compote of morel mushrooms and Vidalia onions. Cooking morels with sweet Vidalia onions, Zinfandel, and balsamic vinegar really brings out the intense fruity flavor of morels that is very unique and delicious.

Ingredients:     (4 servings)
Nettle Purée
2 cups stinging nettles, leaves only, cleaned well (using gloves to handle)
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra fine cornmeal flour
Salt, pepper to taste

Morel and Vidalia Onions Compote
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup Vidalia onions, coarsely chopped
12 whole small to medium whole fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup good quality Zinfandel
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper to taste

Grits Cakes
1 cup salted water
1/4 cup grits
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Rack of Lamb
1 large rack of lamb
Extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
About 6-8 springs of fresh thyme

Directions:
Nettle Purée (yields about 1/2 cup)
1. Boil nettle leaves for 90 seconds in salted water, drain, and purée in a food processor.

2. In a skillet, melt butter on medium high heat until foamy, add garlic, saute for 30 seconds.

3. Lower the heat. Add cornmeal flour, stir quickly until just blended and swirl in nettle purée. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cook on low heat for a few minutes, stirring until the mixture thickens.

Morel and Vidalia Onions Compote
1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add Vidalia onions and sauté until translucent.

2. Add the remaining butter and morel mushrooms. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add sugar, Zinfandel, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the wine is reduced by half.

4. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and keep warm before serving.

Grits Cakes
1. Add grits and extra virgin olive oil to salted boiling water, and cook 10-15 minutes on low heat.

2. Spread the prepared grits evenly in a single layer in a baking sheet, and cool completely.

3. Cut out 4 small rounds, 2.5 inches in diameter.

4. Melt butter in a skillet, swirl in Parmesan cheese, then add the grits cakes and fry them on both sides until golden brown.

Rack of Lamb
1. Prepare the grill.

2. Sprinkle the rack of lamb with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the sprigs of thyme on both sides of the lamb.

3. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare.

4. After letting the lamb rest for a few minutes, remove the sprigs of thyme and slice into chops.

To Assemble:
Place nettle purée in a center of the plate and top it with a grits cake and a lamb chop. Spoon the compote of morel mushrooms and vidalia onions on top. Serve additional compote on a side.

Recipe Development & Photography by Natasha Price, 5 Star Foodie

Comments 2

  1. Everything looks fantastic, especially the compote. I love how the morels are still whole so you can really tell their shape. And rack of lamb happens to be one of my favorite cuts of meat ever.

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