Rima’s Grilled Lamb Chops with Rose Jam, Mint Pesto and Pearl Couscous

October 5, 2009.   3 Comments.   Categories Chef Rima Olvera, Contributing Chefs, Mediterranean, Smoking / Grilling.  

Rima’s Lamb Chops with Rose Jam, Mint Pesto and Pearl Couscous
by Chef Rima Olvera of “Duet”

There are lots of great recipes and just as many chefs . . . but how often do you truly come across a chef so gifted that their recipes are truly unique and original?  Perhaps you may find someone who is truly the master of a certain style or region but how often do you find someone who has mastered numerous regions and styles?  Enter Chef Rima Olvera of the enormously popular television series “Duet” in Europe and Asia.

Rima doesn’t just create a meal, she masters the entire sensory experience to make each meal a one-of-a-kind event.  This has been the mission of her Omnivore Supper Club headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.  She provides a dining experience for a small group of guests who feel transported to the region she chooses as the focus for an exquisite meal.  It doesn’t matter what part of the world . . . Rima can create a menu that is both gracious to its heritage and yet gives it a cutting edge flair only she can deliver.

This skill gained the attention of television producers who recruited her to star in the television show “Duets.”  The concept was a natural for Rima . . . travel the world to discover the best chefs in each region – then partner with them to cook together while introducing the viewer to what is special about that region.  There is no one better to do this than Rima.

Until now, Rima hasn’t taken photos of her food . . . shared recipes or perhaps even written any recipes down.  She believes each meal is special and deserving of its own moment . . . and she’s right.  But, I believe that her recipes also deserve more than one life and am very proud and honored that she has chosen this website as a forum for sharing these creations. Thank you Rima!  As my friend and culinary colleague – I’m so proud to know you!

This recipe would be wonderful for your next party.  As suggested, serve this on a large platter and wait for the “oooh’s and aaah’s” from your guests!

The Recipe:


16 lamb t-bone chops (not rack)
2 bunches mint- leaves only
fresh thyme- several branches, leaves only
1 bunch arugula- washed, trimmed, and spun dry
1/3 cup toasted pine-nuts
1/3 cup toasted pistachios
2 oz ricotta salata or queso cotija
salt and pepper
pinch of anise seeds
olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic
juice from 1 lemon
1 jar rose jam (available at all Turkish and Middle Eastern shops.
if unavailable, substitute apricot jam with a couple drops rosewater added)
3 cups pearl couscous
pinch saffron
4 cups chicken stock
6 fresh roses un-sprayed if possible

Step 1:  marinate the lamb chops for 30mins before grilling in:
the chopped fresh thyme
the anise seeds (optional) not everyone likes anise- but I highly recommend them here!!
about 3 Tb chopped fresh mint leaves
plenty of pepper
olive oil

Step 2: mint pesto:
in food processor, put half of the prepped mint leaves
the garlic cloves
lemon juice
big splash of olive oil (about 1/4 cup, maybe a little less)
half of the pine nuts
the cheese- crumbled
til blended but still has some chunky texture. season to taste with
salt and pepper, add a pinch of sugar if bitter. Put aside.

Step 3: for the couscous:
heat a heavy bottomed big saute pan, add a splash of olive oil and add the couscous, stirring til oil has coated the grains.
the saffron and chicken stock, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Turn down heat, stir, cover and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until
all water is absorbed. Turn off heat, keep covered for 10 minutes, then
turn into a bowl, when you can touch it without being too hot, separate
all the grains with your hands. cover the bowl and keep in a warm place.
the remaining pistachios, also coarsely chop the mint leaves and
arugula, add to the couscous, with the remaining pine-nuts.
Check seasoning.

Step 4: Grill the lamb chops. add salt while grilling them.

Step 5: to serve:
Pile the couscous salad in the center of a large platter or Moroccan bowl.
Arrange the chops around the couscous, drizzle generously with the rose jam, and garnish with mint leaves and rose petals..
serve the mint pesto on the side.

wine recommendation: a big fat premium California Cabernet or French Gigondas.


  1. That sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read more.

  2. Chef Rima is brilliant! I never failed to try her recipes and it all became a blockbuster hit at home!!

  3. Ciao Laura! What a fab recipe. I adore Lamb chops & these flavors that Rima paired them with are incredible! So glad you convinced her to share! Thanks so much for posting. Can’t wait to try this.

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