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Mar 3, 2007 03:19 PM

Good side dishes for rack of lamb?

I am preparing to cook my first rack of lamb for a special occasion, and wanted to know what goes the best with rack of lamb. I pretty much love any type of vegetable, but are there some that will bring out the flavor of the lamb? Also, any wine suggestions?

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  1. My favorite sides with rack of lamb: Potato gratin and Ratatouille.

    For wine, a Cote du Rhone.

    10 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Do have the recipe for that? Never made a potato gratin before, I'm somewhat of a beginner cook:).

      1. re: bwillia

        Potato gratins are really very easy to make. They're basically composed of potatoes, cheese, and heavy cream. I don't know how many people you will be serving, but here's a simple recipe that serves 4-6. If there are only two of you, just cut all amounts in half.

        1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
        2 lbs of russet baking potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
        1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
        1 cup heavy cream
        Freshly-ground Pepper

        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
        If you don't have a gratin dish, use a regular baking dish. Rub the inside of the dish all over with the garlic.
        Layer half the potatoes in the dish.
        Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a very little bit of nutmeg.
        Sprinkle on half the cheese.
        Pour half the cream over the potato/cheese layer.
        Repeat with a second layer.
        Bake, uncovered, until the top is crisp and golden brown. It should take about 50-60 minutes, but keep checking it. If you cut the recipe in half, it will take less time, probably no more than 30-40 minutes.
        Serve immediately.

        Do you need a recipe for ratatouille?

        1. re: RGR

          Nice recipe, very easy ... potato gratin a favorite as well. Great simple dish with the rack.

          I love to serve a horshradish mustard sauce as a dipping sauce or a sour cream mustard sauce with the rack (both 2-3 ingredients and simple and chill for serving)

          I love asparagus. I love to roast mine with a little honey and balsamic, a simple easy drizzle over the top and just roast in the oven with the lamb 15-20 minutes and done. Sweet and savory.

          My creamy potatoes with spinach. I peel and dice russet potatoes and cook in heavy cream and white wine on the stove for just 20 minutes until soft but not mushy, add fresh spinach and stir. The wine and cream evaporates and makes a great creamy texture. Add the spinach a little butter, salt and pepper and some grated parm. Stir and serve. The natural starch in the potatoes thickens the sauce to make it perfect every time.

          Grilled romaine salad, Grill pan inside or outside grill, cut romaine hearts in 1/2 and then brush with evoo, s/p and then grill inside first, outside second then cut cut in half and serve with a spicy vinaigrette, blue cheese, or any of your favorite dressings. Some fresh slices onion and tomato wedges and a great easy sald

          Or I make a roasted or grilled veggie salad. Onions, grape tomatoes, crimini mushrooms and fennel, slice up and put the warm veggie in a bowl of mixed greens with a spicy balsamic vinaigrette a very simple easy salad but great with grilled meats.

          Couscous which someone mentioned, I like scallions, some fresh spinach and goat cheese done in a chicken broth is a nice twist and a simple side dish.

          Stuffed tomatoes with just some simple onions, garlic, peppers and bread crumbs and some cheese on top just baked with the pork is really a nice touch.

          So are grilled stuff onions. Stuffed with a gorgonzola or blue cheese and bread crumbs. Down Home with the Neelys did something similar this weekend but I have made mine for a while with a few twists. I add some more cheese and a few more veggies but either way, equally as good. Wrap in foil make ahead and just grill with the lamp.

          Love the rataoulle idea. Great dish

          I didn't see peas might of missed. This is something I saw on TV once and I call them minted peas but not sure where I got them. They are frozen peas, a simple saute of a couple of shallots, parmesan cheese, fresh mint and heavy cream. 5 minutes and done. It is great with lamb. And I know parm and mint, but it is great trust me. I make them all the time and get request after request. I can't take credit but it is really good.

          I also grill zucchini long cut planks dipped in egg and panko and then pan sauteed. Then I stuff with goat cheese and thin cut tomatoes and fresh basil chopped, and then topped with another zucchini slice and then bake until melty and brown. Easy and really good.

          1. re: kchurchill5

            wait this zucchini dish sounds nice, but I can't figure out what you mean.
            Dip the strips, and then fry so the exterior is crispy? Then stuff, and roll and then you say, "topped with another zucchini slice and then bake until melty and brown. Easy and really good."
            How do you do that, are these rolled or layered flat?

            1. re: chef chicklet

              Ok, I was doing short descriptions. Here it tis... They are really good and easy and pretty to serve.

              I like to cut the zucchini in long strips (not too thin) A good 1/4" or more. Coat with olive oil, s/p and then grill on medium high just a few minutes just to get some marks. Then when lightly cooled dip in egg and panko crumbs and saute in my cast iron also right on the grill. Just a few minutes on each side until brown. Remove or set to the side so you can stuff (without standing over the hot grill) with a little cheese, then basil, then tomatoes, then a little cheese. (I used thin sliced plum tomatoes). Then top with the other zucchini slice. Finish baking or cooking on the grill until the cheese melts. Just a few minutes.

              This could be done inside in a saute pan and then melted in the oven. I was just in a grilling "groove." I have made them inside many times but I grill so much during summer I was just thinking grilling. But inside prep is just fine.

              They really are great, sundried tomatoes would also work, I have used those in a pinch. I just like the fresh with summer time.

              Let me know if I gave you good enough directions. Sorry I wasn't more precise before.

            2. re: kchurchill5

              I think the potatoes and spinach sound wonderful. I was wondering on amounts of cream and wine? Is there a specific wine you find works better?

              1. re: kchurchill5

                I really like the idea of the peas with shallots, parmesan, fresh mint and heavy cream. My leg of lamb recipe is going to be butterflied and marinated overnight. Do you know how much of all the ingredients would be needed for the peas, shallots, parmesan cheese, fresh mint, and heavy cream?

              2. re: RGR

                I pulled this recipe (potatoes gratin) up on the internet b/c I needed a potato dish to do w/ a beef rack and let me tell you it was THE HIT of the family Xmas dinner! I have made it many times in the last few years and people rant and rave over it! I was thinking of making it to go w/ the rack of lamb for my husband's bday dinner -- the only thing I do differently is parboil the potatoes before slicing them. And I am very liberal w the cheese and creme. It is an amazing, amazing side dish for beef and lamb.

                1. re: capitalcajungirl

                  Sounds like you are great at cooking specialty meats!! I want to make rack of lamb for Christmas dinner, but so many recipes to choose from. Can u give me some ideas or even better let me know how u make yours. I am cooking for four people, so not a big crowd. I would greatly appreciate any help.

            3. re: RGR

              I would LOVE your recipe for Ratatouille please. I am absolutely planning on making your Potato Gratin and serving your wine choice. Thanks for your help!

            4. Sure! A recipe for ratatoulle would be great. And I'm cooking just for two.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bwillia

                I found this recipe on-line (I can't remember where or I would post the link) from a french woman who used her mothers recipe. I've tweaked it a bit - and even my 12yr old devours it. If I made two we would eat that one too :)


                for the tomato sauce

                2 tbsp extra-virgin fruity olive oil

                2 cloves of garlic, processed
                1 medium white onion, processed

                1lb can (big one) of diced tomatoes, drained

                2 roundish table spoons or a handfuls of thyme

                1 bay leaf

                1/2 Tbsp organic sugar

                sea salt to taste

                for the vegetables

                2 Roma tomato, sliced into very fine slices

                1 green zucchini , sliced into very fine slices

                1 yellow squash, sliced into very fine slices

                2 small yellow onions, sliced into very fine slices

                1 small eggplant, sliced into very fine slices

                2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil,

                thyme leaves, 

                sea salt and pepper

                Start by making the sauce: combine the oil, garlic and onion into a large heavy-bottomed pan over low heat until very soft, about ten minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf and bring to the boil over medium heat. Mix in the sugar, reduce the heat and simmer until very soft and very little liquid remains, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, and discard bay leaf. Smoosh with a masher to help break down tomatoes. Spread the sauce in the bottom of a 9”, 2qt baking dish.
                Pre-heat the oven to 340°f.
Arrange the vegetable slices (standing up) over the sauce until the pan is filled. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the thyme, and season w. salt and pepper. Cut a round of baking paper to fit the baking dish and then cover with lid or foil and crimp the edges to seal well.
Bake for 2 hours. Uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes.
You can eat it hot, warm or cold.

                1. re: edgeeater

                  So I followed this recipe and I wound up with a 2:1 vegetable to sauce ratio (meaning I covered the sauce with veggies and I still had about half of them left over). That didn't seem right...

                  Were you just using incredibly tiny vegetables?

              2. A garlic Custard is a nice accompanyment.

                1. Also some type of couscous is very nice with lamb. And it's easy to make.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: perk

                    My last rack of lamb I did with coucous with dried cherries and green onion. Lovely.

                  2. Broiled tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and herbes de Provence, and either roasted potatoes or Armenian pilaf.

                    Roasted Potatoes:
                    -tiny new potatoes, or larger ones cut into halves or quarters
                    -olive oil
                    -salt, pepper, herbs of choice

                    Put the potatoes into a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, and cook about ten minutes. Drain and dry, then toss in a bowl with the oil and seasonings. Set an iron skillet in the oven when you're preheating it for the lamb. When the lamb goes in, toss the potatoes plus the oil into the skillet and put it back in. They will probably need to be turned when the lamb is done, and taken out after the lamb has rested.

                    Armenian Pilaf:

                    -1 cup rice
                    -3/4 cup fine vermicelli, broken up
                    -butter or butter and oil
                    -cayenne pepper
                    -2 cups chicken broth

                    Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a 2-quart pan over fairly high heat. Add the vermicelli, cook and stir until it is golden brown. Add the rice, cook and stir until the grains become an opaque chalky white. Stir in cayenne, maybe half a teaspoon or less, then add the broth all at once - it will boil up fiercely, but if you add just a bit at a time it'll really explode! Cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer. It will be done in about 20 minutes.