It’s finally here! Cherry season is here. I have to admit, I’ve been impatiently anticipating it this year. Maybe it’s because it begins in mid-May, indicating that summer is just around the corner, or because I love the sweet-tart taste of fresh Bing cherries. Either way, I’m happy they’re here.
I spend a lot of time surfing the internet for recipes and culinary inspiration, and in the months leading up to California’s cherry season I had eagerly collected quite a few recipes to make when it arrived. And don’t be fooled. Cherries are not a fruit to be confined only to desserts. It’s the savory main-course sauces for meats and salad options that excite me the most. I had wanted to make this Lamb Rib Chop Recipe with Cherry Pan Sauce from Bon Appétit June 2008 since they went out of season last year. It was worth the wait.
Lamb Rib Chops with Quick Cherry Pan Sauce
- • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- • 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- • 8 3/4- to 1-inch-thick lamb rib chops
- • 1 tablespoon butter
- • 1 tablespoon olive oil
- • 1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- • 1 cup unsweetened black cherry juice
- • 1 cup halved pitted fresh Bing cherries or other dark sweet cherries (about 7 ounces whole unpitted cherries)
- • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix flour, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper on large plate. Lightly coat lamb chops with flour mixture; shake off excess. Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb chops and cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer chops to baking sheet and keep warm in oven while preparing sauce (do not clean skillet).
Add onion to same skillet and sauté 2 minutes. Add cherry juice and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until liquid is slightly reduced and onion is slightly softened, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Stir in cherries and half of basil and cook 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Place 2 lamb chops on each of 4 plates. Spoon sauce over. Sprinkle remaining basil over and serve.