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Double-Fennel Rack of Lamb

Ingredients

Serves 4

Lamb’s rich flavor pairs perfectly with fennel’s sweetness, and here you get a double dose of fennel in the caramelized vegetable bed and the crunchy spice crust. If you’re feeding a larger crowd, this recipe doubles easily; sear each rack individually and then roast them together on the same sheet pan.

1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved and chopped for garnish

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. fennel seeds

1 tsp. coriander seeds

½  tsp. dried rosemary

1 D’Artagnan rack of lamb, about 1-1/4 lb., frenched and trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Recipe

1. Heat the oven to 400°F.

2. On a parchment-lined rimmed sheet pan, toss the sliced fennel and onion with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil to coat, and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables evenly over the pan, put in the oven, and roast until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a spice grinder, combine the fennel and coriander seeds and rosemary and pulse until coarsely cracked. Stir in 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper.

4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Put the rack of lamb in the pan, fat side down and sear until golden-brown. Using tongs, stand the rack on each side for about 3 minutes each to brown the sides. Brush the fat side of the lamb rack with the mustard and press the spice mixture onto the lamb to coat it evenly.

5. Remove the vegetables from the oven, flip with a spatula, and push them together into a bed for the lamb. Put the lamb rack on top of the vegetables and return to the oven. Continue to roast for about 20 minutes more, until the lamb is medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part will read 130°F). Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes before carving to separate the chops. Serve the chops with the caramelized fennel and onions, garnished with fennel fronds.