This is a very simple and elegant weeknight meal. Easy prep and easy cooking. I love the vegetables in ratatouille and the scent it gives off while baking in the oven really makes the house smell good. The rack of lamb is simple and elegant. Simply score, season and then grill (or bake).
Ingredients: serves 2 with leftovers
1 Rack of Lamb
1 small Eggplant, peeled and sliced thick
1 small Red Bell Pepper
1 8oz. package of sliced Mushrooms
1/2 medium Red Onion, diced
6 Garlic cloves, sliced
1 15oz. can Diced Tomatoes
3 T Olive Oil
1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar
(use organic when possible or if you have a green thumb grow your own vegetables)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Lightly salt the slices of eggplant and press between paper towels. Let sit for 30 minutes.
While the eggplant sits, clean and dice the bell pepper and the onion. Peel and slice the garlic. Open the mushrooms and clean them if needed. Open the can of diced tomatoes. Measure the balsamic vinegar.
Wipe some of the salt from the eggplant and then dice the it. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and put the diced vegetables and the olive oil in and stir everything together. Now add the tomatoes and stir together.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Then remove and add the balsamic vinegar, stir well and put back into the oven for another 30 minutes. (you want the vegetable tender but not dry, so adjust your cooking time if needed) . When finished this may rest covered with foil if the lamb isn't ready.
Remove some of the fat from the rack of lamb. Then make a cross pattern on the lamb and season it generously. I use a combination of dried garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Let the lamb sit at room temp for 1 hour with the seasoning on it.
Light the grill and cook fat side down for 10 minutes. Then turn the rack over and cook for another 10 minutes. (be careful to watch for fire due to the fat) Check center with a thermometer (135- 140) Remove from the grill and then tent loosely with foil for 10 minutes before slicling.
Alternately turn the oven up to 425 and bake fat side up for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil for 10 minutes before slicing.
To serve, put a mound of ratatouille in the center of the plate and 2 chops on either side.