It's the little things. Like, say, no traffic on the way across town. In a city like Los Angeles, that only comes a few times a year and means that gridlocked commutes become breezes. This last weekend was a kismet intersection of Passover, Easter, and Spring Break that allowed the traffic gods to look kindly upon those of us who stayed in town. And I'm not complaining about staying in LA because this city is a whole other animal when you have it to yourself (or you and only 1 million other people, but who's counting).
And just like the little things make your proclivity for road rage less of an issue, so do the little things make a huge difference in the kitchen. There are those sauces and recipes that you just know are homeruns and this Green Harissa Sauce is one such recipe. I first used the Green Harissa as part of a squash recipe for my friends over at California Walnuts, but I've since paired it with everything from roasted potatoes to carrot risotto and, for this Easter Sunday, these lamb chops. It looks like a pesto but tastes like amazing-ness and is my secret (well, not so secret anymore) go-to sauce for any and everything.
(about 1 ounce)
about 2 1/2 pounds total
Turn a gas burner on medium heat and char the jalapeño, turning frequently, until blackened and slightly collapsed. Transfer the jalapeños to a cutting board to cool slightly. Once cool enough, trim off the stems from the jalapeños and remove the seeds and ribs.
If you like spice, add the seeds and ribs, or taste and adjust to your liking.
Combine the jalapeños with all the harissa ingredients except 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor or blender and blend, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir to help loosen the sauce.
Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Store refrigerated until ready to use.
Meanwhile, season the lamb chops with salt and pepper.
Spray a grill pan or large skillet with cooking spray and heat it over high heat. Add the lamb chops and cook them until lightly seared, about 3 minutes each side for medium rare. Serve each chop over a dollop of the green harissa.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp