Recipe: Pistachio-Dijon Crusted Rack of Lamb with Couscous

Mar 27, 2024 | Recipes, Wines

The idea for this recipe came from our Chief Winemaker, Susy Rodriguez Vasquez, who suggested pistachio-Dijon crusted lamb as the perfect dish to serve alongside our elegant, aromatic, delightfully complex 2021 Pinot Noir.

Pistachio-Dijon Crusted Rack of Lamb with Couscous

Suggested Pairing: Rescue Dog Wines 2021 Pinot Noir
Serves 2

8 FL OZ water
extra-virgin olive oil
1 C dried couscous
1 TB minced shallot
⅓ C torn fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
6 dried apricots, sliced thin
1 small frenched rack of lamb (about 1 ¼–1 ½ LB)
2 TB smooth Dijon mustard
½ TSP ground cinnamon
½ TSP ground cumin
½ C finely chopped, roasted pistachios
2 T panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a large baking sheet by covering it with a sheet of parchment.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the water, 1 TSP olive oil, and ½ TSP salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Quickly whisk in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes while the cooking liquid is absorbed, then fluff the couscous with a fork to prevent clumping. Let cool.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the shallot and 1 TB olive oil. Add the couscous, mint, and apricots and toss to combine. Let the couscous mixture sit at room temperature while you prepare the lamb.
  4. Season the lamb with ½ TSP salt and ½ TSP pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add approximately 1 TB olive oil to coat the pan thinly and heat until it’s shimmering and about to smoke.
  5. Beginning with the fatty side (bones should be curving up in the pan), sear the lamb 2–3 minutes until lightly browned. Flip and sear the other side for an additional 2–3 minutes.
  6. Remove the lamb from the skillet and place on the lined baking sheet, with the bones curving down. Combine the Dijon, cinnamon, cumin, and 1 TSP olive oil in a small dish, then spread this mustard mixture over the top of the rack of lamb.
  7. Combine the pistachios, panko, 1 TB olive oil, and ¼ TSP salt in a small bowl. Press this pistachio crust mixture into the mustard atop the rack of lamb to coat generously.
  8. Roast the lamb for 15–25 minutes until it reaches the desired doneness. (For reference, medium-rare is approximately 125°F; however, the USDA recommends cooking a rack of lamb to 145°F, which is medium-well.)
  9. Let the lamb rest for a minimum of 5 minutes. Slice between the lamb ribs and serve over the couscous.

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