First posted: Jan 7, 2016

Lamb Chops with Minty Gremolata and Rosemary Polenta Chips


This recipe fits the bill in so many ways. Whether braai-d or fried, they are very obviously one of our favourite foods here in South Africa, and the minty gremolata adds a freshness and lightness that makes everything sing. The polenta crisps are horribly delicious, just the kind of comfortable companion for the heartiness of the chops. Enjoy!



Cooks in:        Serves:4

  • 4 lamb chops
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
For the Minty Gremolata
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ tsp salt flakes
  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • Pinch of sugar, or more, to taste
Rosemary Polenta Chips
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp cooking oil

What to do

1. On the stovetop, heat a heavy-based frying pan on high and add 1-2 Tbsp cooking oil. Season the lamb chops with a sprinkling of salt and pepper on each side.

2. When the oil is hot enough, cook the lamb chops for 3-4 minutes on each side, then set aside to rest for about 5 minutes before serving on warmed plates.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the gremolata by combining all the ingredients together in a food processor or pestle and mortar until roughly chopped and blended together.

Rosemary Polenta Chips

1. Cook the pap or polenta according to packet instructions, then pour into a shallow casserole dish or baking tray, spread out evenly with the back of a spoon until the mixture is about 1cm thick and leave to cool.

2. Using a pestle and mortar, pound together the rosemary, garlic, salt and olive oil until you have a fairly smooth paste.

3. Brush the set polenta with this mixture and then, using a sharp knife, cut the into ‘fries’ or ‘chips’, each about 1cm x 4cm.

4. Heat 2-3 Tbsp cooking oil in a heavy-based pan and then fry the chips in cooking oil until golden and crispy, 4-5 minutes.

Photo from 'Sarah Graham's Food Safari' by Ricardo de Leça.

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