Lots of nights, I crave roast chicken because it's simple and intensely comforting. However, I live alone, and unless I have someone over, cooking an entire chicken seems a bit wasteful. That's why I've taken to roasting rack of lamb instead. It's available in smaller quantities, and when I'm by myself, it feels like a special treat. In this recipe, the lamb is rubbed with a fresh-herb garlic paste before being roasted with tomatoes and potatoes in the oven. The resulting meal is delicious, rewarding, and, with a glass of red wine, wonderfully luxurious. To look at the recipe,


Provençal Rack of Lamb

Provençal Rack of Lamb


  1. 2 garlic cloves
  2. 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  3. 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  5. 2 medium tomatoes, halved
  6. 1 (1-pound) frenched rack of lamb (4 to 8 chops, depending on size), cut in half
  7. 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
  8. 2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  9. 2 tablespoons water


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
  2. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir together with herbs and 1 tablespoon oil.
  3. Put tomatoes cut sides up in an oiled small baking dish and drizzle with a third of garlic mixture. Roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown lamb on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer lamb to a cutting board and discard oil from skillet.
  6. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat and cook shallots and potatoes, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in water and half of remaining garlic mixture and remove from heat.
  7. Rub remaining garlic mixture on fat side of lamb racks. Arrange lamb over potatoes and roast in oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat (do not touch bone) registers 130°F for medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Let stand, loosely covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with tomatoes.

Serves 2.

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