When lamb chops met romaine – The Denver Post

By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

There are some summer evenings so steamy that the only thing I can bear to eat is a giant bowl of leafy salad. And this whole month of August has been full of those kinds of nights, one sticky sunset after the next.

But on what must have been our umpteenth salad, something had to give. Surely adding just a few dainty lamb chops to a whole lot of romaine wouldn’t disqualify it from salad status — just as long as I kept the balance of charred meat to lettuce decidedly in the romaine’s favor.

The result is what I like to think of as a sort-of salad: meaty and satisfying, but still fresh and sprightly enough for any late-summer evening.

You can use any type of lamb chops here, but pricier rib and loin chops will be leaner than economical shoulder chops, which tend to be fattier and gristlier. (I write this with love for fat and gristle.) Cooking shoulder chops to medium-rare helps caramelize the fat and tenderize the meat while still keeping them juicy on the inside; loin and rib chops can be as rare as you like.

If you did spring for a great piece of lamb, the usual rule is not to marinate it first. A little salt is all you need to bring out its brawny, mineral essence.