Pan Seared Lamb Loin with Chimmichurri & Roasted Trio Squash Salad with Goat Cheese and Pinenuts

I bought these beautiful lamb loins from Central Market the other day because they had a sale going on last week.  I think lamb is one of my favorite proteins — it has such an earthy flavor and when cooked properly, it melts in your mouth.  I figured since lamb is generally pretty heavy I’d lighten it up with a side salad.

The salad. I can’t being to explain. To be honest, I had all this squash I had bought but hadn’t used because I enjoyed them as decoration for my squash centerpiece on my dining table (enter girly joke here).  I always come to find that my best recipes are usually ones that I make up on the spot using whatever is left over in my fridge.  Now, back to THE SALAD — it’s amazing, it is out of this world delicious, it is so good in fact that I am planning to make it for my annual Thanksgiving party and probably will do so for many years to come.

Okay I guess I’ll stop talking about how great this salad is and move on to what I actually put in it to make it so magical 🙂 Let’s first start with the lamb…

Ingredients for Pan Seared Lamb:

  • 4 lamb loins (or however many you want to buy)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for Chimmichurri:

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

For the Chimmichurri, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and incorporate together.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan with the oil. Sprinkle  each side of the lamb loin evenly with salt and pepper.  (This cooking process is exactly like the way you make steak).  Once the oil is hot (it will smoke a little bit), sear the lamb loin, about 2 minutes per side and allow the lamb to cook the rest of the way in the oven. The cooking times are as follows:

  • If you like your lamb rare, place it in the oven for no more than 2-3 minutes.  If you like your lamb medium rare place it in the oven for about 6-8 minutes.  If you like your lamb medium place it in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes. If you like it well done leave it in there for 12-14 minutes.  Remember, the lamb will continue to cook after you take it out so plan accordingly.

Ingredients for Magical Roasted Trio Squash Salad:

  • 1/2 butternut squash,seeded and chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 acorn squash, seeded and chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 spaghetti squash, seeded and halved
  • 3 beets, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de provence (you can also use rosemary)
  • 6 radishes – thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
  • 4 cups field greens or arugula, or spinach or mix of all three if you choose
  • pinch of fleur de sel (or kosher salt)
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Line a large sheet pan with foil and place the spaghetti squash halves face down.  Add about an inch of water in the pan and place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes or until soft.  In a large roasting pan, mix the squash and beets with orange zest, herbs and olive oil  — be sure all the pieces are coated evenly.  Cover pan with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.  Check to see how well the squash is cooked, if it is rock solid cook for another 10-15 minutes covered, if it is semi-soft, remove the foil and increase your oven temperature to “broil”.  Roast for an additional 10-15 minutes until squash and beets are completely cooked through and soft (keep an eye on your vegetables and be sure they do not burn).  Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, take your spaghetti squash and using a fork, loosen up the strings of squash and place in a bowl.  Plate your field greens and when ready to serve take a spoonful of the roasted squash mixture and spaghetti squash and place it on top.  Garnish with the sliced radish, goat cheese and pine nuts.  Finish by sprinkling the salad with a little bit of Fleur de Sel and ground black pepper.

Now a lot of you are probably thinking, fleur de what? Fleur de Sel — it means “Flower of Salt’ in French and is slightly different than kosher salt.  It has a sweeter and less saltier flavor with a crunchy texture.  It’s quite pricey but I bought a tiny bit of it from the bulk salt section at Central market because I had heard about it and was interested in trying it.

But I dont think it was the salt that made this salad magical.  It was the mixture of squashes along with the sweetness of the beets and then the spicy crunchy radishes paired with the creamy goat cheese…and last but not least the delicious little pine nuts that were sprinkled throughout.  *siiigh*  I dont know any other way to describe this salad any better so I urge you to try it hahaha.  I wish I had more pictures of the salad to really show case its true “awesomeness” but I think I was so darn hungry while making this dinner I rushed the pictures because I wanted to eat so bad…my stomach controls me what can I say? : )

Serves 4.  Prep Time – 35 minutes Total Cooking Time – 1 hour 35 minutes

34 responses to “Pan Seared Lamb Loin with Chimmichurri & Roasted Trio Squash Salad with Goat Cheese and Pinenuts

  1. You shoulda invited me over! This sounds absolutely amazing. I love lamb, and I keep buying random squashes too, not really for decoration, just because I’m enamored with them. And I do like to eat them!

    • You know we should have a dinner together some time, you actually live close enough! Yeah i should use squash more often in my cooking and less in my decorating haha ^_^

  2. oh i love butternut pumpkiN! the last i made it, was in a fragrant green curry 🙂

  3. This is a very festive dish. I love lamb too and I like the sauce that perks up any kind of protein. That salad is truly magical and very hearty. I would definitely love to have this dish.

  4. I love that you take time to tell a story about yourself – -I’m kinda like that – -rumbling as I post my food..Love the pics..and cook some more — Love your posts!

  5. I’ve never eaten lamb but the squash looks fantastic. EXCELLENT photos too!!

    • Thank you Coleen for the kind words 🙂 I had some friends over during this dinner, and my friend who is a very picky eater who has never eaten lamb before actually tried a piece and did not keel over and pass out hahaha — she said she enjoyed it but she would rather it be more well done.

  6. Your squash salad IS incredible! Normally, I am deathly afraid of beets (I had a terrible experience with them as a child – my mother couldn’t cook), but your photo/recipe of the salad makes me want to woof down some beets and radish! Delicious! And thank you for sharing! Gorgeous photos….

    • hahaha that is so funny, it seems a lot of people have horror stories around beets! I am glad my recipe has placed you back on the beet bandwagon hee hee thank you for your kind words :)!

  7. i really hv no idea what i love more, the lamb, the chimmichurri, or the salad……everything looks so delicious! and the photos…..i just dont need to say more. breath-taking!

  8. WOW! Joy, you really good at making this. So perfect like from a 5 star restaurant.

  9. gorgeous looking dish and very colorful! everything looks so flavorsome and delicious

  10. A lovely assortment – so colorful!

    (pssst, I think you might have a typo…it says butternut squash twice in your ingredients, and I think you left out spaghetti.) I wouldn’t have noticed had I not been paying very careful attention to this amazing looking dish! (While trying not to drool on the screen).

    If you hear a dietitian in NJ got electrocuted…

    • LOL!!! Thank you for catching that Georgie I am constantly struggling with typos…-_- I am happy to have found your blog (very visually appealing), I look forward to getting to know you! and thanks for the kind words 🙂

  11. That’s such a lovely, hearty meal you have. I love lamb. Agree with you that if cooked well, it will have that lovely melt in the mouth feel…mmm. I love butternut squash too….such a healthy veg. This meal is just perfect for me. I wish I have that now 😦

  12. OK, so Joy… I have never thought that raw meat was beautiful. But you’re styling up those loins pretty fierce!

    The salad is an interesting concept. I would never think to put roasted vegetables in a cold salad. But I will now!

    • HAHA Mr. P you are funny — I was almost hesitant about using pictures of raw meat, in fear of scaring off any vegetarian readers but I thought the loins were beautiful so I couldnt help myself hahaha. Yeah I liked the contrast in temperatures of the warm roasted vegetables with the cold salad and toppings I hope you you like it!

  13. WOW. your lamb loin is sheer perfection!

  14. I haven’t had too much experience with Lamb… your flavor combination looks fantastic! Definitely a recipe I want to try!

  15. Hmm…mm… OMG, what a delicious meal! I’ll have to cut down the pictures to eat them.. haha…. I love making lamb in this way and you also have made a great touch on that salad. How I wish I was there right now!

  16. Thanks for the tantalizing recipe, I think that using a high quality finiship salt can sometimes make the difference between a good dish and a great dish. Grey Sea Salt and Smoked Sea Salt are also good to finish with to add some magic…

  17. Wow that is a seriously big feast!!!

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