Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Grilled Lamb Chops with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Lamb Chops with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette

Lean and low-fat pastured lamb is a popular protein in Australia, where per capita consumption per year is about 18 pounds. Here, tender loin chops are grilled quickly over a hot fire and paired with a tangy olive oil vinaigrette that can be modified by your choice of fresh herbs.


For the lamb:

  • 2 pounds lamb loin chops, each chop about 3/4 inch thick, preferably grass-fed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

For the charred lemon vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons, preferably Meyer variety, halved
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh basil, oregano, or thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, or more to taste
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Brush the lamb chops on each side with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Heat your grill to medium-high (alternatively, use a grill pan or cast-iron skillet on the stovetop).

Step 3

Make the vinaigrette: Brush the lemon halves with the tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange on the grill grate, cut sides down, and grill for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they develop some color.

Step 4

Transfer the lemons to a bowl and let rest until cool enough to handle. Juice 2 of the lemon halves (a wooden reamer works well for this) over a strainer positioned over a blender jar. (Reserve the remaining lemon halves for serving.) Discard the seeds and lemon rinds from the juiced lemons. Add the basil, garlic, mustard, and salt and pepper to the lemon juice in the blender. While the machine is running, slowly add the 1/2 cup of olive oil through the lid of the blender. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or mustard if desired. If the dressing is too tart, add a little more olive oil. Transfer the vinaigrette to a cruet or small pitcher.

Step 5

Arrange the lamb chops directly on the grill grate at an angle to the bars. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on how rare you like your lamb and how hot your grill runs. Turn and repeat. The chops should have good grill marks. An internal temperature of 125°F is rare; 135°F is medium-rare.

Step 6

Transfer the chops to a platter or plates. Let the meat rest for 3 minutes. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish with the reserved lemon halves and sprigs of fresh herbs.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from Healthy Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker Cookbook by Nancy Loseke (Penguin Random House, May 2020)