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Burned Fingers Lamb Chops - {Lamb Chops 'Scottadita'}

3 lemons -- zested
2 bunches mint leaves -- divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
24 baby lamb chops
2 cups lemon balm leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon zest, 1 bunch mint, sugar and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and buzz until mixture is the texture of coarse sand. Rub each chop well with a small amount of the mixture, cover chops and set aside.


Bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil. Set up an ice bath large enough to hold all of the mint and lemon balm and set it next to the stove. Blanch the mint and lemon balm in the boiling water until tender, about 45 seconds. Remove from water and immediately immerse in the ice bath. When completely cooled, remove herbs and drain well. Place herbs in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 15 seconds. Slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse until emulsified. Do not over-process.


Preheat the grill.


Grill each chop until medium-rare, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with the lemon balm pesto.


This recipe yields 4 servings.


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