With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I hope you’re thinking about what wonderful thing you’ll cook for your sweetheart. Why? Because, perhaps not surprisingly, I think the best way to say “I love you” is to cook something delicious for someone. But more importantly, because I have a perfect recipe for romance.
What makes it so great for romance? Three reasons (and they’re pretty similar to why I recommended Sesame-Hoisin Pork Tenderloin and Carrots for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago).
One, it’s a roast, and a roast is always romantic. Why? Because a roast means the oven does the work, leaving you free to entertain (insert whatever romantic activities you might find entertaining). Make anything on the stovetop besides a stew or a braise and you’re glued to said stovetop. Not particularly romantic.
Two, a rack of lamb is perfect for romance because it’s perfectly sized. One rack makes four double chops, just right for two. (My recipe calls for two racks, but you can easily halve it.)
Finally, rack of lamb is perfect for Valentine’s Day because it’s special-occasion feeling but still super easy to make. My recipe is even garnished with pomegranate arils—the “seeds” of the pomegranate—which are romantically red/pink .
A few tips for buying rack of lamb.
Visit a good butcher and get it there. Tell them you want it “frenched”—that means cutting the meat away from the ends of the bones, which makes a nicer presentation. You can french it yourself, but why not make life easier and let the pros do it?
A butcher will also trim excess fat for you, but I like to ask that they not be too aggressive. If you’ll be serving a big red wine for Valentine’s Day—and I recommend you do, because it, too, is romantic and festive—the richness from that fat can be a pairing plus.
Admittedly, rack of lamb can be pricey at a good butcher. But you can also get it at Trader Joe’s, where it’ll be less so. I find their racks are typically a bit smaller, so you might want to slightly heavy-up on the side dishes.
Get your Pomegranate Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary ready for the oven up to a day in advance, then all you’ll have to do day-of is pop it in the oven. Add some little potatoes or asparagus to roast alongside, make a simple salad, and open the wine.
And you’re ready for a delicious Valentine’s Day.
A few more Valentine-appropriate recipes you might enjoy:
Rosemary Meyer Lemon Drop
Smoked Salmon Salad on Toasts
Baked Chevre with Herbes de Provence Breadcrumbs
Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Crab
Crème Fraîche Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas
Sesame-Hoisin Pork Tenderloin with Carrots
Dill-Poached Salmon with Herbed Yogurt Sauce
Steaks with Lemon-Thyme Butter
Fresh Fruit Parfaits with Raw Sugar and Whipped Crème Fraîche
Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Candied Ginger and Mixed Nuts