50g fresh white breadcrumb or white bread, torn into small pieces
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
2 tbsp thyme leaf
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, picked from sprigs
zest 1 lemon
25g grated parmesan
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 x 8-bone racks of lamb, well trimmed (see 'Try', below)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
250g spinach leaves
For the bean puree
400g can butter bean, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 anchovy fillets
large rosemary sprig, leaves chopped
juice ½ lemon
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, the best quality you can afford
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip the breadcrumbs, herbs, zest and Parmesan into a food processor with 1 tbsp of the oil and some seasoning. Blitz until everything is finely chopped.
Heat the remaining oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Season the lamb, then brown it well on all sides and turn off the heat. Turn the racks so that they are fat-side up, and brush liberally with the mustard (Step 1, above). Pack over the herb crust (Step 2), drizzle with a bit more oil, and roast for 25 mins until the crust is golden and the lamb is cooked – this will produce lamb that is pink in the middle but cooked all the way through. If you like your lamb rarer, roast for only 20 mins; if you like it more done, give it 5 mins more. Put the lamb on a board to rest.
While the lamb is cooking, blitz the beans with the garlic, anchovies, rosemary, lemon juice, some seasoning and 7 tbsp olive oil (or enough to make it a smooth purée. Tip into a saucepan to gently heat.
Wilt the spinach in the remaining olive oil in another frying pan. Once the lamb has rested, carefully carve it into chops (Step 3), trying to keep the crust intact. Divide the warm bean purée between 4 plates, add a small mound of spinach, then arrange 3 lamb chops on top of each portion. Sprinkle with stray crumbs and drizzle with a little olive oil.
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