Pistachio-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Pancetta

Serves 4


  • 1⅓ cup unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • ⅓ cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½lb rack of lamb, frenched (8 chops)
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or bacon
  • 6 scallions, white and tender (green part only)
  • ⅓ cup unsalted pistachios shelled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C)
  2. In the bowl of a mini processor, finely chop the pistachios with the thyme and rosemary. Add half of the olive oil and process to a paste; season with salt and pepper. Scrape half of the pistachio paste into a small bowl and stir in the remaining olive oil.
  3. Coat the lamb with half of the remaining pistachio paste.
  4. Wrap the pancetta slices around the lamb, between the bones, leaving the bones exposed. Spread the remaining pistachio paste over the pancetta and set the rack in a small roasting pan.
  5. Roast the rack for about 30-40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centre of the meat registers 145° for medium to well done.
  6. Ensure top is crusted
  7. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Reserve the pan drippings.
  8. Meanwhile, spoon 1 teaspoon of the rendered pancetta fat from the roasting pan into a medium skillet and heat until shimmering.
  9. Add the scallions and cook over a high heat until softened and browned in spots, about 4 minutes.
  10. Carve the lamb rack into four 2 chop servings and transfer them to plates along with the scallions.
  11. Drizzle the pistachio pesto all around and serve right away.


In season at this time of year:

Vegetables; Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Red Cabbage, Sweed, Turnips

Fruit & Nuts; Apples (Egremont, Russet, Blenheim Orange, Orleans Reinette), Chestnuts, Clementines, Cranberries, Pears, Satsumas, Tangerines

Meat: Duck, Goose, Grouse, Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Pheasant, Rabbit, Venison, Wood Pigeon

Fish & Seafood: Brill, Clams, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oysters (Native & Rock), Plaice, Scallops, Sea Bass, Turbot

Suzanne is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in South East London all her life.


Sign up to our newsletter for more seasonal tips and news. You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at info@suzannejames.co.uk

This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of SE22 magazine.