Tea-Smoked Rack of Lamb with Spring Vegetable Ragout and Mint Chimichurri

For April's 'Flavor', we highlighted a popular recipe from Chef Nick Abrams' of Hilltop 1892. Abrams suggests making the chimichurri and cleanining/marinating the lamb the day before you plan to serve.


Mint Chimichurri



3 Tablespoons lemon juice

4 cubes of ice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup parsley –  washed

½ cup mint leaves – washed

¼ cup of shallots – diced

½ teaspoon minced garlic

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper

¾ cup olive oil


Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor.

Blend together, then slowly add the oil to emulsify

To keep the sauce vibrant green, be sure to not allow the oil to heat as you are blending.  The process should not take more than a minute to complete.


Spring Vegetable Ragout



1 bunch asparagus – de-stemmed (hold the asparagus towards the bottom of the stalk and snap between your fingers to take off the fibrous bottoms).

1 bunch baby carrots peeled

2 radishes – sliced into thin rounds

1 cup fresh shelled English peas. 

2 pounds fava beans (yields about 1 1/2 to 2 cups shelled beans)

12 baby potatoes – (either marble or new potatoes) if there are no baby potatoes, you can use regular Yukon gold potatoes and cut in to smaller squares.

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced, to taste

Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


First, shell the beans from the fava pods (I found it’s sometimes easier – especially if you're new to fava beans – to open the pods when you run the edge of a knife along the seam, cutting away the tough edge so that the pod halves come apart).
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil, then add salt – the amount depends on how much water you have, but it should be very salty, like seawater.

In a bowl, combine ice and tap water to make ice water; set aside.

Add the shelled beans to the boiling water and let cook for about 2 minutes, then remove from saucepan and immediately plunge into the ice water to halt the cooking.  Let the beans cool, then peel the outer skin from each of them.

Repeat the blanching process with the asparagus and baby carrots.

Place the potatoes in a pot of salted tap water and bring to a boil.   Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes (for baby potatoes). More time is needed if using larger potatoes. Check if they are done by poking a knife though the potato.  When the potatoes are done, drain the potatoes and place on a tray to cool.

Next, cut the baby potatoes in half and the asapagus into 1 inch lengths.

To finish and serve, over medium heat in a skillet, melt together the butter and olive oil, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the blanched spring vegetables except the radishes and sauté for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until they are done to your preference.

Right before serving, mix in the radishes.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.