Lamb Chops with Roasted Okra, Zucchini, Lady Peas, and Soffrito
Yields 4 servings
From chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
For the soffrito
10 ripe plum tomatoes, halved
1 cup olive oil
4 small Vidalia onions, peeled and finely chopped (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sweet pimenton
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
For the lamb chops
4 lamb chops (porterhouse or T-bone recommended)
2 cups lady peas, cooked
1 cup small okra pods
1 cup small zucchini, split in half
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, as needed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 bunch fresh basil
Make the soffrito:
Grate tomatoes cut side into a mixing bowl; discard skins. Use a strainer to separate pulp from liquid. Set aside pulp and discard liquid.
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and salt. Stir occasionally until onions are soft and tender and turn a light brown, about 30 minutes.
Add strained tomato, bay leaf, and pimenton. Cook another 20-25 minutes, until tomato has broken down and deepened in color. Finish with sherry vinegar and additional salt to taste.
Make the lamb chops:
Season lamb chops with salt. Let sit for at least 1 hour before cooking (bringing them to room temperature).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a saucepan, combine cooked lady peas with a soffrito and bring to a simmer.
Toss the okra and zucchini with salt, freshly ground pepper, and olive oil and place on a sheet pan. Roast in oven until lightly charred, about 10 minutes.
Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat; add vegetable oil. Pat lamb dry, season with pepper, and add to pan. Sear until dark golden brown, lower heat to medium, and turn after about 3 to 4 minutes. Cook until medium-rare, about 4 minutes more. Remove chops and place on resting rack for 5 to 10 minutes and keep warm.
Serve lamb with okra, zucchini, and lady pea-soffrito mixture. Garnish with freshly torn basil.