Smoky Grilled Lamb Loin with Grilled Eggplant Slices and Fresh Basil

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Paired with Pine Ridge Vineyards 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon

Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 20 min

Difficulty: Medium - some experience needed
Serves: 6


6 lamb loins (approximately 2 lbs)
Salt and pepper, as needed
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T coarse sea salt (optional)

6 medium Italian eggplants (6 to 8 oz each)
salt and pepper, as needed
6 T extra virgin olive oil
5 T basil chiffonade
2 T dried thyme


1. Prepare a charcoal or mesquite fire on the grill. Allow flames to recede and charcoal to turn grey. Distribute coals into an even layer.

2. Season lamb loins with salt and pepper, and rub with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Grill over very high heat, turning just once after first side is well marked (approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side). Remove and allow to rest momentarily.

3. Prepare the eggplant by slicing either by hand or on the thickest setting (1/4") on a mandolin (be careful!).

4. Dust each slice with a little salt on each side. This will help draw out moisture and bitterness. After about 15 minutes, while waiting for the charcoal to grey, rinse the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with a little extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Grill over medium heat until slices have evenly charred and are tender and savory.

6. Toss with fresh basil and dried thyme. Keep warm while you reheat the lamb loins briefly. Serve immediately with a little coarse salt and the natural jus collected from the lamb as it rested.

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