Juicy lamb meets zingy pesto

April 17, 2013 

Lamb steaks drizzled with mint pesto sauce is a perfect dish for any weeknight dinner. Slices of lamb are cut from the leg to make a steak 3/4- to 1-inch thick with a round bone in the center. They are sometimes displayed in the meat case, or you can ask the butcher to cut them for you. They make juicy and tender steaks.

Garlic potatoes take minutes in the microwave. Tomato slices brighten the plate and complete the meal, which has 505 calories per serving; 35 percent from fat.

HELPFUL HINTS

Wine suggestion: When I think of lamb, I always think of merlot. A delicious combination.

Substitutions: Walnuts can be substituted for pine nuts.

Save time: Crushed garlic is used in both recipes. Crush it at one time and divide. If pressed for time, omit pesto and serve lamb with mint jelly.

To buy: 2 (6-ounce) lamb steaks, 1 large package fresh mint, 1 lemon, 1 small package pine nuts, 1 small piece Parmesan cheese, 1 pound russet or Idaho potatoes, 1 medium tomato

Staples: Olive oil, garlic, salt, black peppercorns

MINT PESTO LAMB

2 (6-ounce) lamb steaks cut from the leg

2 cups fresh mint leaves, washed and dried

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Heat broiler. Line a baking tray with foil. Trim fat from lamb. Place lamb on tray. Broil 5 minutes. Remove and turn steaks over. Broil 2 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 125 degrees for rare, 145 degrees for medium-rare.

Place mint leaves, garlic, lemon juice, oil and 1 tablespoon water in a food processor. Process until well mixed, scraping down sides once or twice. Add pine nuts and cheese, and process. Spoon over lamb.

Per serving: 286 calories (46 percent from fat), 14.5 g fat (4.3 g saturated, 7.3 g monounsaturated), 113 mg cholesterol, 35.6 g protein, 1.3 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g fiber, 149 mg sodium. GARLIC POTATOES

1 pound russet or Idaho potatoes, diced (3 cups)

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 medium tomato, sliced

Wash potatoes; do not peel. Cut into half-inch pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and toss with garlic and 2 tablespoons water. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove and stir. Return to microwave and cook on high 2 minutes. Remove and let stand 1 minute. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Serve sliced tomato on the side.

Per serving: 219 calories (21 percent from fat), 5.0 g fat (0.7 g saturated, 3.4 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 5.3 g protein, 40.6 g carbohydrates, 5.1 g fiber, 47 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks, including “The Flavors of the Florida Keys.” Go to dinnerinminutes.com.

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