A Lamb Dish That’s Easier Than You Think

This elegant spring lamb dish from Salt the Bistro chef Roy Benningfield doesn’t take a village.

Photo by Cassandra Stiltner

“Fresh fava beans are smooth, rich, sweet, and go incredibly well with risotto.” —Salt the Bistro chef Roy Benningfield

Spring Lamb with Peas and Mint Risotto

For the lamb:
4 lamb chops
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
For the risotto:
4 c. chicken stock or salted water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh garlic
1 medium yellow onion
½ c. white wine
1 c. Arborio rice
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 c. fava beans, shelled, cleaned, and blanched
1 c. spring peas, shelled and blanched
¼ c. Italian parsley, finely chopped
¼ c. of mint leaves, finely chopped
Grated parmesan cheese to taste

For the lamb:
Combine lamb chops, garlic, rosemary, and olive oil in a covered container or bag. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 1 hour. To cook, first bring lamb chops to room temperature. Heat grill pan or grill over high heat. Add chops and sear for 2 minutes. Turn chops over and sear for another 3 minutes for medium-rare, 3½ minutes for medium. Rest the meat.

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For the risotto:
Bring chicken broth or water to a bare simmer in medium saucepan. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Add Arborio rice, stirring to coat. Add wine and deglaze pan until reduced by half. Add enough of the simmering stock to cover the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is almost dry; adjust heat to keep the liquid at a low simmer. Repeat with more stock, adding to the skillet 6-8 ounces at a time. Continue to cook using this process until rice is creamy and al dente, approximately 20-25 minutes. You may not use all the broth. Stir in a splash of heavy cream, grated parmesan, and mint to taste. Fold in the peas and fava beans. Add salt to taste. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl, top with lamb chops, and garnish with more chopped mint and parsley.

Salt the Bistro
1047 Pearl St., Boulder