Iceberg Babies® with Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Chops & Couscous

Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

8 Garden Hearts® Iceberg Babies®
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fleur de sel (or coarse sea salt or kosher salt)
2 cups water
2 cups couscous
3 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons coriander
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
24 lamb chops flour for dredging
1 cup red onions, minced
 1 cup fresh spearmint leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
1 large, meaty tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice for garnish
8 sprigs of spearmint leaves, for garnish

METHOD

1. Remove outer leaves from the Iceberg Babies®, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Cut large core from each head and discard. Gently remove the center leaves to create a lettuce bowl. Slice the removed leaves into a fine julienne and set aside.
2. Bring 1/4 cup olive oil, one teaspoon salt, and water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan.
3. Meanwhile, heat the couscous in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, gently shaking the pan until the couscous begins to exude a toasty aroma (about 3 minutes).
4. Remove boiling water from the heat, stir in the toasted couscous, cover, and let stand until the water is absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Use a fork to fluff the couscous into individual grains. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
5. In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, chili powder, cinnamon, remaining salt and pepper. Sprinkle spice mixture over both sides of the lamb chops and press lightly to adhere. Dredge seasoned lamb chops in flour.
6. Heat remaining olive oil in a large saute pan. When the oil begins to smoke, add the chops and sear on all sides until they reach the desired cooking temperature.
7. Combine onions, chopped mint and lemon juice and add to the couscous.
8. Place a Garden Hearts® Iceberg Babies® bowl in the center of each plate, fill generously with couscous. Garnish with diced tomato and a sprig of mint. Arrange three lamb chops alongside each lettuce bowl.
Chef Beat Giger

Recipe by:

Beat Giger, CEC, AAC, Corporate Chef                                     Pebble Beach Resorts; Pebble Beach, CA

Chef's comment:

"The supple texture and just-right-size of Iceberg Babies® make them a perfect choice in wraps and hand rolls used in the Asian cuisine."