Roasted Rack of Lamb with a Fennel, Artichoke, and Chickpea Mash

Get this, my mom told me today that the reason I didn’t remember having mac & cheese growing up is because I didn’t like it! Apparently I always refused to eat it and would push it away and eat cereal for dinner instead! I mean I know I was an extremely picky eater growing up, but what kid doesn’t love mac & cheese?

My parents are visiting this weekend and my mom said she always marvels a bit over the fact that I now enjoy cooking and have a food blog, since she always struggled to diversify my palate. It wasn’t until I went to college that I really started trying new foods, and a trip through Europe after graduation solidified my foodie ways. I actually kept a travel journal during that trip and have a list of 32 new foods that I tried for the first time – things like raspberries, duck, prawns, quiche, lobster, salmon, cherries, mussels, and crepes. How did I go 21 years without thinking I’d like all these things? It sort of makes me sad thinking about it, but I am doing my best now to make up for all that lost time!

One of the 32 items was lamb – I had it twice during our trip and now have finally tackled making it at home myself. I’ve braised it a couple times this year and recently bought a Frenched (bones exposed) rack of lamb at Costco for $18 and crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t mess it up. Thanks to my trusty meat thermometer it turned out wonderfully and for a fraction of the price it would cost at a restaurant! Some of the almonds fell off the crust because I manhandled the pieces a bit while I was trying to figure out how to cut around the bones on the rack, but it was still very tasty and I’ll know how to do things more delicately next time around. I served it over a fennel, artichoke, and chickpea mash that is very versatile and would also be great with chicken – yum!

Roasted Rack of Lamb with a Fennel, Artichoke, and Chickpea Mash
Printable Recipe


Fennel, Artichoke, and Chickpea Mash:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 bulb fennel, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14-ounce jar roasted artichoke hearts, drained
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
Juice from half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Roasted Rack of Lamb:
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
Juice of half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 16-ounce Frenched rack of lamb, with 8 bones per rack, trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

For the fennel, artichoke, and chickpea mash, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté onion and fennel for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Add fennel mixture, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor and pulse until smooth, about 2 minutes.

For the lamb, heat oven to 400˚F. Mix mustard, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Pat lamb dry and season with salt. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat until hot. Add oil to the pan and brown the lamb on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, for 6 minutes total. Rub seared lamb with mustard mixture and coat with almonds.

Place lamb in a 13×9-inch pan and bake at 400˚F for 15 to 20 minutes or until lamb reaches 145˚F when a thermometer is inserted diagonally into the center of the meat for medium. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes and then cut into chops. Serve over fennel artichoke mash. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition: 492 calories, 21.5g fat, 11.3g fiber, 35.1g fat per serving
Cost: $6.33 per serving

34 Responses to Roasted Rack of Lamb with a Fennel, Artichoke, and Chickpea Mash

  1. I love, love rack of lamb, even though it is a pretty expensive piece of meat. I sometimes find an excuse to buy it :)

    I love your lamb with fennel. That’s a great combo!

  2. I love lamb! Now that you’ve mastered this version, you’ll have to try the one in Ad Hoc. It’s sooo good! Sorry I missed you today!

  3. I can’t get over the fact that you didn’t LIKE mac and cheese…most picky eaters will only EAT mac and cheese. Actually, I have a cousin who to this day does not like mac and cheese. Then again she doesn’t like chocolate either. Or any dessert other than a powdered sugar doughnut. So who knows.

    This dish looks delicious! I still haven’t ventured outside of braising lamb yet, but your rack looks awesome. And that mash – I would LOVE a bite!

  4. Wow, I’m so impressed with your rack of lamb!!! Bob’s next big culinary goal is lamb :) A chickpea mash is a great idea; I’m sure the fennel and artichoke add a great flavor.

  5. i think of lamb as being a classy entree, and you’ve certainly done it justice here. i’d say you’re well on your way for making up for those lost years. :)

  6. Hi Kerstin,
    Your mom told me at Christmas to look up your website. You have a talent I was not aware of, it all looks yummy!
    Hope all is well with you.


  7. I am Single. the last bird has left the nest although it maybe short lived. I am also diabetic witch is a problem, I am having trouble cooking for 1 and it is hard to cut down some recipe. Can you give a few tips?
    The lamb and chickpeas sound fantastic a couple I would like to try.

  8. Yum, this sounds like a great dinner.

    I love that you’re making up now for all of those lost years! I could go for some quiche right now. Did you go to France?

  9. Hah, my mom is always surprised by my cooking abilities … but I have to confess, I never cook AS well as I usually do when she comes to visit .. I dunno what it is, nerves??? I have to say, I had never tried artichokes till I was an adult, and now I really like them .. very cool pairing them with yummy lamb like that :)

  10. Isn’t it funny how our palates (and interests, for that matter) change? Two years ago I would’ve laughed if you had told me I would enjoy spending this much time in the kitchen!

    Lamb is so delightful, a true “special occasion meal” for us…I’m remembering this for next time!

  11. I think it’s totally awesome that you love trying new things now – good for you! Plenty of time to make up for those missed years of delicious eating. And I too love the rack of lamb at Costco, it’s the best for impressing people at a dinner party. And so easy! xxSAS

  12. Hi Kerstin! That’s so funny about the mac and cheese, because my kids will eat virtually anything I make EXCEPT my home made ham mac and cheese. I think I ruined it by making it from a box for so long when they were little!

    My Mom is also amazed by all the things I eat now that I wouldn’t have touched with a 10 foot pole back then!

    Your dinner looks awesome! Great job!!

  13. Lamb is a new found love, though cooking it intimates me! The mash sounds WONDERFUL! Fennel..artichoke…chicpkpea…how savory and delicious! Creative and mouth-watering, as usual! :)

  14. What a gourmet looking dish! I love the chickpea mash- a nice touch! Didn’t like mac n cheese? That is definitely the first I’ve heard of a kid not liking mac and cheese :)

  15. Lamb is my absolute favorite meat! It is so tender, fresh, and “grassy”! Yours looks cooked perfectly, just the way I like it! I CANNOT believe you were a picky eater for such a long time, and now you are so creative and adventurous!! That is an amazing part of your story…you didn’t try RASPBERRIES until you were 21?! You should start doing some meals with the foods you found back then :)

  16. I love love love lamb but have yet to ever make a rack of lamb – it’s on my list of things to master, for sure. But it’s that artichoke/fennel/chickpea mash that has me enamored with this post! Such wonderful flavors, I need to try it!

  17. i was the same way–well, picky, i loved the blue box, lol. I actually had some amazing lamb at an afghan restaurant this past weekend. i hear there is a similar restaurant in boston and i can’t wait to go again!

  18. Thanks to all!

    Megan – I am SO excited to start trying recipes from Ad Hoc!

    Joanne – No dessert, but powdered sugar donuts? That blows me away – I don’t think I was even that picky!

    Bobbie – Thanks for stopping by – hope you enjoyed your visit :)

    Emily – France, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland! I think I tried the most new items in Spain :)

    Shannon – Let’s go :)

  19. This looks totally delicious – even though I don’t eat lamb. I bet your wonderful chickpea mash would be good with just about anything – even chicken. There has been lots of firsts for me and food too – I think our palates change with time.

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