Gluten Free Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on June 30, 2011

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Gluten Free Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb

Gluten Free Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb Recipe

Thanks to my friend Kim and the post she wrote for 30 Days to Easy Gluten Free Living about her garden, I was inspired to grow a garden myself. I figured if she could grow a bountiful garden in the Arizona desert, I could grow one in the hot, humid, bug infested Florida jungle.

So, we (and by “we” I mean my hubby) braved heat stroke, dehydration and malaria and set about digging up the sandy ground, replacing it with soil, planting little baby plants, fertilizing, watering, rigging a watering drip system and pulling thousands of weeds (weeds seem to grow really, really well in my garden!).

So far we have invested tons of money and hard work and I see lots of leaves and stuff but very few actual fruits or vegetables. A few of the hottest peppers on earth (it figures they would grow here) are starting to show up but other than that – nada. Well… except for the herbs. Of course the herbs are kind of a given, considering they don’t have to do anything but grow bigger, but we take our wins where we can get them. In fact I have sort of a bumper crop of mint. A friend told me that mint is basically a weed and will grow anywhere but once again, we take our wins where we can get them!

So what to do with all the mint? The first thing I think of when I think mint is lamb, they just go together so beautifully.  Mixed with a handful of healthy pistachios and some lemon,  I made a fancy dinner-party-worthy Gluten Free Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb that was seriously simple. And for good measure I served it with a Pistachio Garlic Mint Quinoa Pilaf.

Cost of trying to grow a garden in Florida – hundreds of dollars, hundreds of hours of work and immeasurable frustration – a fabulous, easy dinner (fancy enough to serve your in-laws) – PRICELESS!

Gluten Free Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb

Gluten Free Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb Recipe


2 (8 bone each) racks of lamb, trimmed and frenched
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, use divided
½ cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios
3 cups mint leaves, loosely packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat an oven proof skillet large enough to hold both racks of lamb until hot over medium-high heat. If you do not have a skillet large enough for both racks then place a roasting pan in the oven to heat up as the oven does.

Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and sear the lamb on all sides for about 2 minutes per side. Let the lamb cool a little.

Put the pistachios in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to grind them. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the mint, garlic, and the zest and juice of the lemon. Process until it turns into a paste. Spread the paste on the meat-side of the lamb racks pressing down firmly. Place the lamb racks back in the skillet (or in a roasting pan) bone-side down. Roast for 20 minutes for medium rare, 25 minutes for medium. Cover the lamb with a piece of foil and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting the lamb into chops. Use a sharp, thin knife to carve.


This Gluten Free Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe serves 6

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna June 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Oh My! This looks amazing and does sound easy. I love lamb, I am trying this very soon.


Carol Kicinski June 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Thanks Donna. It is delish and soooo easy. Enjoy!


Shirley @ gfe July 1, 2011 at 8:06 am

Wow, kudos on the gardening efforts and boo to your friend who told you that about mint! She should have praised you and not let on. Mint can be easy to grow and take over everything, but some years it doesn’t thrive other due to heat and drought. Watering it usually does the trick though. Anyway, you are doing a great job, dear! And this dish looks mighty appealing, Carol. :-)

Happy 4th! xo,


Carol Kicinski July 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Thank you my friend, it is so nice when your buds are on your side! Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the 4th!



Karyn July 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

Thumbs up for the gardening fantasy in FL as I dream of the same here on the Gulf Coast. Finally decided my container garden that i can move about from shade to sun might be the trick – have new cherry tomatoes growing next to basil (all in pots) so I’ll let you know if I’m successful!

Thanks for posting this – I’m inspired to actually try a rack of lamb rather than just roasts now!

Enjoy the weekend all!


Carol Kicinski July 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Thanks Karyn,

I think I amy have to get pots for the tomatoes next year, they are growing but no fruit – fingers crossed!


Janet July 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

My family absolutely *love* lamb (we use to raise them on a small farm my parents had when my dad first retired). However, I had an unfortunate incident with mint as a child and find I can no longer stomach eating it (I get nauseous just thinking about it). Come to think of it, we never had mint sauce with lamb growing up. Though, as I understand it, mint sauce was typically used to disguise the strong flavor of mutton and we always had lamb, not mutton (for those that may not know, mutton is lamb that is over a year old and has a stronger flavor and tougher meat–many people who think they don’t like lamb have only ever tasted mutton).

Considering my aversion to mint, I’d probably substitute basil and maybe some parsley. At one dinner party I had, I made a standing crown roast of lamb. My guests ooed and awed over it not realizing that it’s an incredibly easy dish to make. The “difficult” part is just putting together the racks to form the circle and if you have a friendly butcher, like me, he’ll do it for you. Then it’s simply a matter of seasoning adding a little water in the pan and shoving it into an oven for the appropriate amount of time. Easy peasy.


Carol Kicinski July 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I bet it would be just as delicious with basil or what ever herb you like. I totally agree with your comment about lamb and mutton, when I was young I didn’t like lamb only to find out I was really eating mutton.


InTolerantChef July 2, 2011 at 6:41 am

Isn’t growing a garden so satisfying? I love mine, even though it can be a pain to look after it some times. For some strange reason my strawberries have taken over as weeds- but I am certainly NOT complaining!


Carol Kicinski July 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Oh how lovely to be overrun with strawberries! I am torn between frustration and satisfaction. Once I get some actual friuts or vegetables, I will be happier! But I am loving all the fresh herbs.


jas @ gluten free scallywag July 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm

delish! I just LOVE a good roasted lamb rack and mint and pistachio crust sounds truly awesome. Love that the mint and hot peppers are growing, one day the rest will pop up I’m sure! I miss having our little garden, however, living in a unit that has a ‘no garden for your own use’ makes growing our own herbs a and veggies a little difficult, luckily we’ve awesome local fresh markets to visit weekly!


Aries August 28, 2011 at 4:24 am

How much store-bought, dry mint do you substitute for the fresh stuff?


Carol Kicinski August 28, 2011 at 7:53 am

1 teaspoon should be good.


Robin Wilson July 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm

This is a wonderful way to use mint! I love to grow it in my herb garden, but it is quite the prolific little plant and I never am able to use it all. Here in the south I have some that made its way out of the container and now grows wild in my flower bed! At least now I can get rid of a few cups of it! Fantastic recipe! Thank you.


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