Pomegranate Pesto Crusted Lamb Chops

This recipe is perfect to introduce some of early fall’s seasonal ingredients, and it’s also one of my favorites. Not only is lamb absolutely delicious, but it absorbs the intense flavor of the pomegranate pesto very quickly, so only a short marinating time is necessary. Serve this gourmet but still easy to make dish at your next dinner party and your guests will be completely blown away!
Pomegranate Pesto Crusted Lamb Chops with Creamy Polenta, Blistered Tomatoes, and a Pomegranate-Balsamic Reduction
Serves 4
1 large shallot, cut in 1/4
10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup mint leaves
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
6 tbsp. pomegranate juice
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
8 double lamb chops (cut with 2 bones per chop), 5 to 6 ounces each
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 lb. campari tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup coarse ground yellow corn meal
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds, optional
Combine shallot, 8 cloves of garlic, cilantro, mint, salt, pepper, and pomegranate juice in a food processor until thoroughly blended. Slowly add olive oil while pulsing. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pesto, coat all sides of the lamb chops. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinade.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Bring balsamic vinegar and pomegranate juice to a boil in small saucepot. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes until reduced, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute marinated lamb chops for 2 minutes per side, then add tomatoes coated in remaining pesto and place in oven at 450 degrees F for 8 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Bring remaining garlic cloves, heavy cream, milk, vegetable broth, and salt to a simmer in a medium pot over medium low, whisking occasionally. Once simmering, remove garlic and discard. Slowly whisk in corn meal until milk mixture has been absorbed. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk frequently for 20 minutes, until cooked. Mix in pepper, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and butter until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then remove from heat.
To assemble, place a mound of polenta on the bottom of each plate, then top with lamb chops, cut into single chops. Place roasted tomatoes on the side and drizzle plate with balsamic-pomegranate reduction. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.

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