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Lior Lev Sercarz, from "Mastering Spice" by Lior Lev Sercarz
Eggplant goes tender in the oven and soaks up rich, meaty juices when roasted under a rack of lamb. This is an ideal centerpiece for any Italian- inspired meal.
Finely grind the oregano, thyme, and rosemary together.
1 frenched rack of lamb (13⁄4 pounds)
6 tablespoons tomato paste
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 small eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1-inch dice
For the lamb: Let the lamb sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before starting your prep work so that it can be at room temperature for 30 minutes total before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the spice blend in a small bowl and stir in 11⁄2 teaspoons salt and the tomato paste. Spread the spice paste evenly all over the rack of lamb.
Lightly coat the bottom of a small roasting pan with oil (2 to 3 tablespoons). Spread the eggplant evenly over the pan and sprinkle with salt. Set the lamb over the eggplant, fat-side up.
Roast until a crust forms on the lamb and a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 115° to 120°F for medium-rare, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the lamb rest in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a cutting board and slicing it into individual chops. Serve immediately, with the eggplant.