When our favorite fruits come into season, we want to put them in every meal possible. And while pairing berries with meat might sound outlandish, the sweet/savory pairing actually works beautifully. Try Abra Berens’s recipe for lamb chops with buckwheat and black pepper strawberries (from her new cookbook, Pulp) if you don’t believe us.
“By using the same pan to roast the lamb chops and sear the strawberries,” she explains, “you’re using the juice in the berries to deglaze the flavorful fond into the sauce as well as creating one less pan to wash.”
A seven-ingredient entrée that comes together in a single skillet? Be still our heart.
Reprinted from Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit by Abra Berens, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2023. Photographs © EE Berger.
Lamb Loin Chops Over Minty Pistachio Butter
1 cup buckwheat, bulgur or other grain of your choosing
10 stems chard, cut into ribbons
1 rack of lamb (8 lamb chops, 1 to 2 pounds total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Neutral oil, such as canola
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
½ cup dry red wine
Extra-virgin olive oil
1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the buckwheat, return to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
2. Place the chard ribbons into a medium bowl. Drain the buckwheat and then pour it over the chard, letting the heat from the buckwheat wilt the chard.
3. Season the lamb chops liberally with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat a glug of neutral oil until smoking hot. Sear the lamb, flat side of the rack down, until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and sear the other side until the chops are medium-rare, about 3 minutes more. Remove the lamb from the pan to rest.
4. Tip any excess fat from the frying pan into a heatproof dish to discard in the trash once cooled. Return the frying pan to high heat and add a glug of neutral oil. When smoking, add the strawberries and a couple grinds of pepper (be warned, the moisture in the strawberries will cause the oil to pop and spit). Sear the strawberries until the juices just start to leach, about 2 minutes. Remove the strawberries from the pan, then add the red wine to deglaze, scraping up any of the browned fond on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine by half, then pour over the strawberries.
5. Toss the buckwheat-chard mixture with a couple good glugs of olive oil.
6. To serve, slice the rack of lamb into eight individual chops. Dish the buckwheat-chard salad among four plates, place two chops per plate atop the buckwheat, and spoon the roasted strawberries over the whole thing.