Grilled Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb

Racks of lamb are generally sold as a full rack with 8 ribs. The rack can be cooked whole, or cut into individual pieces prior to cooking. Either way works just as well; the “right” way is largely a matter of preference, and some for some preparations (like oven roasting) it makes more sense to cook the rack whole.

While grilling, I have a slight preference for cutting the rack into individual pieces before cooking and marinating. If you buy the lamb from a butcher or a meat counter, most places will piece it out for you. This increases the surface area of the meat exposed to the marinade, and allows for a slightly faster sear on the grill. I recommend trying it both ways and experimenting to see what you prefer. The obvious upside of the experimentation approach is that you eat more rack of lamb, and everybody wins because these things are tasty.

In this recipe, I’m including a good general purpose marinade. While the marinade I describe here is pretty easy to prepare, it can be even simpler. A quick rub of kosher salt, pepper, and olive oil — applied anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes before cooking — is a great preparation for lamb.

Marination times also vary. I generally recommend an hour minimum for meat. For this recipe, I made the marinade the night before, and let the lamb marinate overnight.

The time required to prepare the marinade is between 5-15 minutes. The lamb can be marinated for between 1 to 24 hours. Cook time is approximately 5-6 minutes. So, for preparing this meal for lunch, you’ll be in great shape if you prep the marinade the night before, marinate the lamb overnight or starting at breakfast, and then prepping the grill about 20 minutes before you want to eat. While the grill is coming up to temperature, you can fix up a green salad with sliced avocado and and a rice wine vinaigrette.


  • 1 rack of lamb (8-9 pieces), cut into individual pieces
Individual pieces of lamb
Individual pieces of lamb


  • Lemon
  • Fresh mint – if you like mint, use more. If you have flawed flavor preferences and don’t like mint, use less or (gasp) leave it out entirely
  • Fresh oregano – as with mint, balance the amount of oregano against your personal preference.
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil – approx 2-3 tablespoons
  • Sea salt – 1-2 tablespoons
  • Freshly ground pepper – add pepper to taste, maybe 1 teaspoon. More won’t hurt things.
Marinade ingredients
Marinade ingredients

Other additions or substitutions to the marinade can include chopped fresh rosemary or dried cumin.


Step 1: Juice the lemon, and chop the mint, oregano, and garlic. Add them all to a bowl.

Step 2: Add the olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Stir all ingredients together with a spoon.

Marinade ingredients, ready to go
Chopped and ready to mix

The marinade can be made multiple days in advance. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you choose to refrigerate the marinade, make sure to bring it to room temperature before using it. The olive oil will solidify in the refrigerator; bringing the marinade back to room temperature allows the olive oil to liquefy.

Step 3. Put the lamb in a ziploc freezer bag, and pour in the marinade. Shake the bag gently to cover all the lamb with the marinade. Remove as much excess air as possible from the bag, and seal it.

Step 4. Put the lamb in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat!

Protip: It takes just as much time to prepare marinade for 4 pieces as it does 8 or 12. If you make more in your initial batch, you can have some for leftovers later in the week. Grilled lamb is delicious cold.

I generally eat around 4 pieces as a single serving, so eight pieces covers two meals.

Step 5. About 30 to 60 minutes before you want to eat, remove the lamb from the refrigerator. 20 minutes before you want to eat, spark the grill. We want the grill right around 500.

Step 6. Cook the lamb on the grill, approximately 2-3 minutes each side.

Grilled lamb, after the flip
Grilled lamb, after the flip

Step 7. Plate, eat, enjoy. Save your leftovers for lunch later in the week!

Rack of Lamb

Simple Green Salad with Dressing

Salads are easy to throw together, and they don’t need to be complicated.

If you’re working at home, you need your greens.

Eat your greens!
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For a basic salad, get some mixed greens at the store. If you’re feeling ambitious, buy a head of lettuce and rip the leaves off and wash them. But, with either route, the process of making a salad is literally washing the greens, and then dumping them onto a plate. If you’re feeling really ambitious, get an avocado and slice it up*. Cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, or celery all add some variety, flavor, or texture.

Homemade dressing can also be pretty simple. A great basic dressing is a mix of equal parts extra virgin olive oil and seasoned (or sweetened) rice wine vinegar.

Another straightforward homemade dressing is equal parts extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a spoonful of stoneground mustard and some cracked pepper. This dressing goes especially well with sliced apple and/or dried cranberries.

For salad dressing containers, I use old jam jars. They’re a great size, and you can seal them up and mix your dressing inside them.

With the steps laid out here, you can prepare a basic salad in around 5-10 minutes.

* If you only use some of your avocado, squeeze lemon juice on the part that’s remaining and store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The lemon juice prevents the avocado from turning brown.

Seared Ahi Tuna

This dish is pretty simple to cook and prepare. Preparation and cooking takes around 10-15 minutes.

The meal has one critical component: sushi grade tuna from a fishmonger you trust. If you have any doubts about this, ask the person selling the fish one direct question: can I use this for sushi tonight? If the answer comes back as anything but an unequivocal “yes” then I recommend looking elsewhere. While this fish will have a sear on it, it will not be cooked all the way through. Fresh, good quality fish is pretty important on this dish. I generally buy the fish the day before I am going to cook it, although if the fish is vacuum sealed I have kept it refrigerated two days before cooking it.


  • one piece fresh Ahi Tuna (Tombo can be a great substitute if it’s available); one person can eat somewhere between .25 and .5 pounds, depending on how hungry you are. Most cuts will be between 3/4 of an inch to 1.5 inches thick
  • toasted sesame oil
  • coarse sea salt/kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper


Step 1: Prepare the grill and get it heating. We sear the fish between 550° or 600°.

Step 2: Coat the fish with toasted sesame oil.

Step 3. Sprinkle one side of the fish with salt and fresh ground pepper. Flip and cover the second side.

Step 4. Wait until the grill gets to 550° or 600°.

Step 5. Place the fish on the grill and sear on one side for 30-45 seconds.

Flip and cook for an additional 30-45 seconds on the second side.

Seriously, avoid the temptation to cook it longer. Thirty seconds goes by really quickly, and with the grill at 550° that’s all you need.

To round out this meal for lunch, add a simple green salad.

Garlic Butter (or spiced/herbed butter)

Making garlic butter, or some other variant of spiced or herbed butter, is a simple way to add flavor and depth to meals. The short version:

  • melt some butter, or allow butter to soften to room temperature;
  • mix in some spices or herbs to taste (and go light; it’s easy to add more, but impossible to take them out);
  • put the butter in the refrigerator.

And really, that’s about it. The spices and herbs you can add are really limitless, from coarse ground pepper to thyme to fresh rosemary to ground chipotle pepper or smoked paprika to herbes de Provence.

Either fresh or dried herbs can be chopped and put into the warm butter; experiment with both to decide what you prefer. Personally, I prefer fresh herbs, but tastes differ.

Garlic butter requires anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 minutes of preparation time, with somewhere around 5 to 10 minutes of active cooking time. Once prepared, garlic or herbed butter can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, or frozen.

To make garlic butter, one additional step makes all the difference: brown the garlic in olive oil, and then mix the browned garlic and olive oil into the butter. Browned garlic has a great texture, and browning the garlic adds a sweet crunch to garlic. If the garlic was browned in butter, the butter would brown as well.

To make garlic butter:

  • Remove 1 stick of butter from the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature. This can take 30-60 minutes. The butter can also be microwaved in a bowl in 15 second increments until the butter softens.
  • Peel anywhere from 3 to 10 cloves of fresh garlic (depending on the size of the cloves, and your love of garlic).
  • Mince the garlic into small chunks.
  • Heat a saucepan on medium-high heat; add olive oil and minced garlic.
  • Stir garlic occasionally until it browns.
  • Add the browned garlic and olive oil to the warm butter.
  • Using a spoon, mix the garlic into the butter.
  • Return the garlic butter to the fridge until it hardens, and use it as you would regular butter.