April 27, 2021

Lamb Loin Chops with Green Olive-Orange Relish

Found on page 168 of my Ranch Raised Cookbook!
Photography by Charity Burggraaf

Lamb loin chops might be small compared to other cuts, but they are mighty in flavor. This vibrant Moroccan spice rub is a natural partner to the earthy taste of lamb, while the green olive-orange relish provides a satisfying salty-sweet note. Feel free to mix and match the sauces from other lamb recipes as you like; they are interchangeable depending on what cuts you have on hand and what you are in the mood for that day. I like to serve this with herb-roasted smashed potatoes.

Makes 6 servings.


For the Lamb

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 (1 1/4-inch-thick) bone-in lamb loin chops (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

For the Relish

  • 1/2 cup packed finely chopped pitted green olives, preferably Lucques or Picholine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange (about 1 teaspoon)


In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Put the lamb chops on a baking sheet in a single layer and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the chops all over with a little olive oil. Sprinkle evenly on both sides with the spice mixture. Set aside at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.

To make the relish, in a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Set aside.

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the lamb chops. Cook until well browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over the chops and cook to the preferred doneness, 4 to 5 minutes longer for medium-rare (about 130 degrees F). Transfer the chops to a serving plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil; let rest for 5 minutes.

Top with relish and serve at once.

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