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Kare Arniou se Krousta Fountoukion: Hazelnut-Crusted Rack of Lamb


Hazelnut-Crusted Rack of Lamb - Lamb Chops

Hazelnut-Crusted Lamb Chop

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Kare Arniou (καρέ αρνιου, say: kah-REH ahrn-YOO) is Greek for "rack of lamb" and φουντούκια (say: foon-DOOK-yah) is the word for "hazelnuts." The crust on the lamb is made with a wonderful combination of hazelnuts and thyme, and the result is a delicious dish that is elegant in presentation.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


  • rack of lamb (usually 8 lamb rib chops)
  • 5 teaspoons of crushed thyme
  • 1 cup of ground hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
  • olive oil for sauteeing


Preheat oven to 480F (250C).

Clean lamb and remove tough outer skin, if any. Pat dry. Pan sear in very little oil until the lightly browned. Remove and drain.

In a mixer/chopper, combine thyme, hazelnuts, salt, pepper, oil, and butter and mix until it forms a thick paste (do not liquefy). Place the rack, bone side up, in a small oven-proof dish. Coat the top side with a thick coating of the hazelnut mixture and roast at high heat - 480F (250C) - for 10-12 minutes until the butter melts and the crust hardens.

Note: This recipe is for rare lamb chops. If you prefer your lamb more well done, sauté them for an extra minute or two. Slice and serve.

Yield: serves 2-3

I first had a version of this recipe at Kyma in Atlanta during the course of a chef's tasting, so the serving size was one thin chop (see photo), garnished with trahana pasta cooked with tomatoes in lamb stock, I believe. They also go wonderfully with boiled new potatoes.

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