Spice Rubbed Rack of Lamb over Cauliflower Cream
It's not every day that you make rack of lamb, and with good reason; they're expensive and elegant and deserve a special occasion. That said, for such an elegant piece of meat they really are quite simple to cook. So when you're having guests over, maybe someone extra special you want to impress, make lamb. They'll be impressed and honored and you'll be relieved with how little work you actually had to do.
This recipe is for one single rack, which feeds two people, but easily doubles, triples etc.
For the lamb:
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon baharat
1/2 teaspoon harissa spice
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, plus more for the pan, if desired
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the cauliflower cream:
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
1 tablespoon Earth Balance or margarine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped small
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1. Start by creating the spice rub for the lamb; mix all the spices together in a small bowl and pat into the skin of the lamb, Zest the lemon and garlic over the skin and pat that into the skin as well. Marinate at room temperature for at least one hour. If you're marinating for longer than one hour, transfer the lamb back to the fridge. Remove from the fridge one hour prior to cooking to allow the meat to come to room temperature.
2. Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil until very soft, about 20-30 minutes.
3. While the cauliflower boils, add your garlic and thyme leaves to a small saucepan. Pour in enough olive oil to just cover the garlic. Set heat to medium-high until just simmering and then reduce the heat to low and stir often to avoid browning. Cook about 20-25 minutes, until the garlic cloves have softened.
4. Once the cauliflower is soft, use a slotted spoon to transfer the florets to a blender. Transfer some of the cooking water into the blender as well; enough to cover about half of the cauliflower. Add the garlic cloves and thyme (not the oil,) Earth Balance, lemon juice and a good pinch of salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. (Make ahead: the cauliflower cream will stay warm in the blender for a while, but if you want to make it ahead you can transfer it to a pan and quickly simmer it when you're ready to serve. You may want to add a little more liquid to the pan to make up for any liquid that will be lost in the simmering process)
5. When you're ready to make the lamb, preheat the oven to 450°F.
6. Pour olive oil over your lamb. Place the meat fat side down in a roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before carving.
7. Plate by pouring cauliflower cream onto the plate and using the back of a spoon to evenly distribute over the plate. Carve the rack of lamb between the ribs, cutting through every other bone. Plate over the cauliflower cream and garnish with pistachio and pomegranate seeds.