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Chef John’s Mint-Pesto Marinated Lamb Chops

Chef Johns LambRecipe by Chef Johnathan Frabotta — 

Looking for something really special and delicious to cook this spring?

We asked Ducey’s on the Lake Chef Johnathan Frabotta for a delicious recipe to share with readers, and Chef John did not disappoint, offering his take on rack of lamb in mint-pesto sauce, with cucumber raita and garlic mashed potatoes.

The succulent lamb “lollipops” are marinated in pesto before cooking, then served with a refreshing cucumber side known as raita, along with a who-doesn’t-want-a-second-helping of garlic mashed potatoes.

Lamb Chops


1 rack of lamb

Mint-pesto sauce (see recipe)


Break down lamb into single bone “lollipops.” Marinate lamb in pesto for 4 hours before cooking. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Remove the lamb from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Cook the chops on the preheated grill until they start to firm, and are reddish-pink and juicy in the center, about 2 ½ – 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Serve the chops with cucumber Raita.




2 cups fresh basil

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves

½ cup mint

Juice from ½ lemon


Combine basil, mint, garlic, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Slowly add olive oil to emulsify. Blend until smooth.


Cucumber Raita


2 hot house cucumber – peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

2 cups Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/4 teaspoon Ranch dressing mix (powder form)


Stir together the cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, mint, sugar, and Ranch powder in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.


Garlic Mash Potatoes


3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes

2 tablespoons kosher salt

16 fluid ounces (2 cups) half-and-half

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons butter


Duceys Chef and KitchenPeel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, add the salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork. Heat the half-and-half and the garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off the water. Mash and add the garlic, butter, and cream. Stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.


Thanks to Ducey’s on the Lake and Chef John for sharing.

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