And one more flavor match: Lamb and Mint with Raisin Red Chard

Since I appear to be on a flavor match kick, we might as well go for one more: lamb and mint.  I don’t know why the two go together.  Maybe the little lamb like to feast on wild mint, or maybe they tend to have halitosis and mint takes care of that, but regardless, on the plate, lamb and mint just work.

For dinner last night I picked up these beautiful rib loin chops from New Zealand (I know, local is best, tsk tsk, but whatever. The New Zealanders have some tasty sheep).  I also have some pineapple mint growing nicely in a pot that was crying out to be used.  I hadn’t heard of pineapple mint either but it tastes like mint and smells like pineapple, which is where I guess they get the name.  I made a quick infused oil with the mint, and a special dry rub to complement the mint oil for the lamb.  Big N plopped the chops on the barbecue so I could get working on the chard.  For the red chard, I added raisins, pine nuts, garlic, and balsalmic vinegar to my saute.  The sweetness of the raisins went well to balance out the mint on the lamb.  For vino we served it with Babcock’s Nucleus Bordeaux blend from Santa Rita Hills area of Santa Barbara County.  Spicy, with boysenberry and violet on the nose, this was the perfect match for the minty lamb.

Another scrumptious meal, made even more special with some good wine.  (See my recipes for lamb with mint and raisin red chard below.



Lamb loin chops with mint infused oil

Serves 2
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Main Dish


  • 7 Lamb loin or rib chops
  • 1-2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper (Freshly ground)
  • 2 tablespoons Mint (Finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive or grape seed oil


1. Make spice rub by combining spices and stirring together.
2. Rub over the lamb and let sit for 20 minutes.
3. In a small dish, add mint and a little kosher salt to the oil and let sit.
4. Grill lamb until done. Let rest for a few minutes.
5. Serve lamb topped with mint infused oil.

Red Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Meal type Side Dish


  • 1 Red Chard
  • 1/8 cup Raisins
  • 2 tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar


1. Cut chard stems into 1 inch pieces. Cut remaining leaves into 1 inch ribbons.
2. Toast pine nuts but placing in the bottom of a dry pan heated over a medium flame. Toast until fragrant, stirring every couple of minutes, about 4 minutes total.
3. Remove pine nuts and add a little oil to pan. When hot, saute chard stems, about 4 minutes.
4. Add leaves, raisins, and garlic.
5. Season with salt and a little pepper and cover. Simmer over low heat 6-10 minutes until tender. Add 1 T water if necessary to prevent burning.
6. Uncover, add vinegar and pine nuts. Serve.

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