Lamb Porterhouse Chops
with Grilled Eggplant Caponata and Ratatouille Salsa
Whenever I throw an outdoor BBQ, I want to be part of the party, not stuck in the kitchen. This entire meal is prepared on the grill, I can marinate the lamb and eggplant earlier in the day and assemble everything with friends and family gathered around.
Serves 6, total time:
- 1 bunch fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, sage)
- ¼ cup Dijon
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salt
For the Grill
- 6 lamb chops
- 2 eggplants; sliced ¼″ thick
- 2 green zucchini
- 2 yellow squash
- 4 roma tomatoes
- ½ cup virgin olive oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped in ½″ dice
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons currants
- 1 tablespoon hot chili flakes, plus extra for garnish
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried
- ¼ cup basic tomato sauce
- ⅓ cups balsamic vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 sprigs mint, chopped
The Day Before:
- Herb Marinade: Blend all of the marinade ingredients in the food processor. Let the motor run for 3 minutes. This should make 2½ cups of herb marinade.
- Pour 1 cup of the marinade over the lamb chops. Add salt and pepper and mix well. The remaining marinade can be refrigerated until later.
- Caponata: In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
- Add the thyme, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Garnish with mint and chili flakes. Reserve in a large mixing bowl until service time.
The Day Of:
- Gently toss the eggplant slices with ¾ cup of the marinade, salt and pepper.
- Cut the zucchini, yellow squash, and roma tomatoes in half, length wise, and toss with ½ cup of the marinade salt and pepper.
At the Grill:
- Place a table with a cutting board ready by the grill. Preheat your grill.
- Grill the eggplant 3 minutes per side. Once cooked, transfer to the cutting board.
- Have a friend cut the eggplant into a large dice while you start grilling the tomato on the coolest section of the grill, skin side down. Let the tomato cook until it's soft in the center. Once done, set next to the cutting board. Once the eggplant is diced have them put it into the bowl with the sautéed Caponata. Make sure it's mixed thoroughly. Season with salt, pepper and possibly a splash of balsamic vinegar. You're the chef, so taste it before they serve it.
- Grill the zucchini and squash until tender. Once cooked, place onto the cutting board and have your friend dice these small as well. Place the diced zucchini and squash into a separate bowl.
- Begin grilling your lamp chops, 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
- Have your friend chop the tomato and mix it in with the grilled zucchini and squash. Season the mixture with fresh basil, sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Taste your assistants' work and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve the 2 vegetable sides alongside the freshly grilled lamb chops.