Lamb’s Fall Flavors

Roasted rack of lamb with butternut squash puree and cucumber salad

Roasted rack of lamb with butternut squash puree and cucumber salad

Chef Ted Stelzenmuller pairs the meat with cucumbers and a butternut squash pureé.

Fall is Chef Ted Stelzenmuller’s favorite season, and he says October is a good time to cook rustic, family-style dishes.

Chef Ted Stelzenmuller

Chef Ted Stelzenmuller

We asked Stelzenmuller, executive chef/owner of Jack’s Bistro in Canton, to create a seasonal dish for us, and he choose roasted rack of lamb with butternut squash purée.

“I purée the butternut squash because I love the texture of it,” he says. “It acts as a sauce in this dish. It represents the fall beautifully.”

Stelzenmuller is also a believer in presentation. For this dish, he spoons the purée onto a platter, then places the rack of lamb on top. He recommends composing the salad next to the lamb, layering the cucumber ribbons and twisting them to create height.

Roasted Rack of Lamb
with Butternut Squash Purée and Cucumber Salad

Rack of Lamb Serves 2
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 ¼ teaspoons black pepper, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 rack of lamb (7 bones)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Set oven to 450 degrees. Move oven rack to the center position.
2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to moisten mixture. Set aside.
3. Season the lamb all over with one teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy oven-proof skillet over high heat. Sear lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside for a few minutes. Brush lamb with mustard. Roll in the bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Cover the ends of the bones with foil.
4. Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet. Roast in oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness you want. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving.

Butternut Squash Purée
1 whole butternut squash deseeded, cut into 1-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup butter
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Drizzle the squash with olive oil and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake until just tender, about 18-20 minutes.
3. Reserve a slice of the roasted squash for the cucumber salad.
4. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place in a mesh strainer and push the purée through.

Cucumber Salad
2 cucumbers
¼ pound Greek feta cheese
Reserved roasted butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Use a mandolin slicer to shave the cucumber as thinly as you can. Slice till you start seeing seeds, rotate the cucumber and continue slicing.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently toss.