Roast Lamb w/ Figs

Ohh figs.  How to describe this marvelous fruit that is just as interesting in flavor as it is in shape and color?  They are wonderful plain, but I decided to change things up a bit and make a sauce with them, to serve over some well-cooked lamb chops. 

The sweet and rich taste combined with the silky texture of this sauce pair beautifully with heavier cuts of meat, which is why I chose to serve it with roast lamb. And although this dish may seem very substantial, it was actually pretty light - my dining partner and I cleaned our plates, and still had room for dessert! This sauce can also be eaten with so many other things - on a crostini with feta or goat cheese, in a turkey sandwich, on vanilla ice cream - the possibilities are endless, and I invite you to explore! I served it with an endive and toasted walnut salad (recipe is on my blog), but I imagine that any green salad would go nicely. One final note: if you would like to make this when figs are out of season, substitute 8 dried mission figs for the fresh ones.

Roast Lamb w/ Figs - serves 1

For the lamb chops:
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped sage
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
3 1-inch thick lamb chops

For the fig sauce:
4 very ripe fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
3/4 cups port wine
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper

1. Wash and pat the lamb chops dry, and rub with salt.
2.  Mix the herbs and pepper for the lamb together with 1 tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl; spread 1/2 of the mixture over all of the lamb chops. Place the chops in the fridge to marinate for at least one hour (this can be done 1 day ahead - let the chops marinate overnight, and store remaining herb mixture in fridge).
3.  Place all fig ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until port has reduced to a syrupy glaze, about 35-40 minutes.
4.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
5.  Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange chops in skillet and try not to crowd the pan. Cook them until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.
6.  Place lamb chops on a lined baking sheet; spread remaining herbs over them. Scrape up any browned bits from the skillet and sprinkle over the lamb chops.
7.  Roast the chops until just cooked through and no very pink parts remain, about 20 minutes. (This part is very personal - if you like your lamb chops rare, you may want to cook them for less time. In any case, I would suggest taking the chops out and cutting one open with a fork and knife to check for doneness, and cook for longer if necessary).
8.  Spoon the fig sauce on two individual plates. Lay the chops on top, and serve. Enjoy!! I recommend having some bread handy to soak up any leftover sauce.


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