- 1 cup Merlot
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 1/2 pounds lamb loin, cleaned
- Kosher salt
- Sprigs of thyme, for garnish
- Piquillo Pepper Pesto, recipe follows
Whisk together the wine, thyme, oil, garlic, black pepper and parsley in a baking dish. Add the lamb and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
Remove the lamb from the marinade 20 minutes before cooking. Heat a grill pan or saute pan over high heat. Season the lamb with salt on both sides and cook until golden brown and seared on both sides and cooked to medium-rare doneness (internal temperature of 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Place on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve slices with a dollop of pesto on the side.
Piquillo Pepper Pesto:
- 6 piquillo peppers
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the peppers, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until emulsified. Add the cheese, salt and pepper and pulse a few times to combine.