Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Lamb

IMG_0499 The finale of next week's All Hallows Eve dinner menu is finally complete! I am currently warming up to a latte at a coffee shop (I'm simply not used to weather below 60 degrees), but this aubergine entrée is sure to "chill you to the bone." While the pumpkin seed crust was an intended seasonal touch, the buttery flavor and crunchy texture elevates any protein for your main course. I am a big fan of pumpkin seeds on my fish (especially halibut), and they aren't a bad afternoon snack, either.

While I did not provide step-by-step instruction, chopped japanese eggplant with a splash of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt is a lovely nest for your rack of lamb. The rich color complements the table (styled by Art in the Find) like an accessory. I look forward to consistently serving eggplant this winter now that the Farmers Market is extending through the end of the calendar year.

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Makes 3-4 servings (depending how hungry you are!)

Rack of lamb (approx. 8 lollipops) 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 splash red wine Garlic powder Salt and pepper 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1. Toast pumpkin seeds in a small skillet. Remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board. Chop coarsely with a large knife. Mix with rosemary and set aside.

2. In a large Ziploc bag, pour mustard, wine, garlic powder, salt, and pepper over rack of lamb. Tightly seal the bag and massage the lamb until it is well coated and ingredients are combined. Allow marinade to sit on countertop for 30 minutes (directly before roasting), or place in refrigerator for the day.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove lamb from Ziploc and place on a broiler pan. Pat pumpkin and rosemary mix over lamb in an even layer.

4. Roast at 400 degrees for 7 minutes, then lower heat to 300 degrees. Cook for 7-15 minutes longer (depending on the size of the rack of lamb), until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat 125°F on a for rare or 135°F for medium rare. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

5. Slice and serve over roasted eggplant -- you are sure to be "chilled to the bone!"