Finger Lickin’ Lamb Loin Chops with Romesco Sauce and Grilled Scallions
8 American lamb loin chops, each about 1-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches green onions
1 dried ancho chile (sometimes labeled pasilla)
1 large ripe tomato, diced, or 1/3 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup roasted slivered almonds
2 garlic cloves
1 roasted red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
To make the romesco sauce: Slit the dried chile lengthwise and discard the stem and seeds. Chop it into little pieces and put them in a small bowl with the tomatoes and vinegar to rehydrate for about 30 minutes. Put the almonds and garlic in a food processor and pulse to finely mince. Add the tomato mixture, the roasted pepper, bread crumbs, and salt and process the mixture to a coarse purée, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube. Taste and add more salt or vinegar as needed. (The romesco will keep in the refrigerator, covered, up to 3 days.)
To grill the lamb and onions: Preheat a gas grill to high heat or build a hot fire in a charcoal grill. Brush the grates clean. Season the chops generously on all sides with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil to lightly coat. Toss the onions with enough oil to lightly coat and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt.
Place the lamb chops on the hottest parts of the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely charred on both sides and the internal temperature of each reaches 130 to 135˚F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled chops to a large platter and cover loosely with foil to rest while you grill the onions. (The internal temperature will increase to 145˚F.)
Grill the onions until softened and lightly charred, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Spread the romesco sauce on a large serving platter and arrange the lamb chops over the sauce. Strew the grilled onions over the top. Serve with napkins!