Add a pop of char and smoke to your Thanksgiving feast with this recipe for cumin-rubbed grilled lamb chops, grilled acorn squash wedges, dill and fennel tzatziki, and pomegranate arils.
Grilled Lamb Chops and Acorn Squash with Fennel Tzatziki
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 
Add a pop of char and smoke to your Thanksgiving feast with this recipe for cumin-rubbed grilled lamb chops, grilled acorn squash wedges, dill and fennel tzatziki, and pomegranate arils.
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: grilled lamb chops
Makes: 4 servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
Ingredients
Tzatziki
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds, reserve additional fronds for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill
Squash
  • 1 large acorn squash, stem trimmed, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Lamb
  • 4 lamb shoulder chops, about 2 pounds (or sub smaller un-frenched rib chops – see note*)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • Reserved fennel fronds
Instructions
  1. Working up to three days ahead of time, make the tzatziki. In a medium-sized bowl, combine garlic, lemon zest and juice, cumin, and sea salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then fold in yogurt and herbs. Add sea salt and more lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. To make the squash, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss acorn squash wedges with olive oil, chili powder, and sea salt, and arrange on a large baking sheet. Roast 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. (Squash should be cooked enough to just accept the tines of a fork – if overcooked, they may fall apart on the grill.) If making squash ahead, cool completely and then refrigerate; or on the day-of, just set aside until they're needed.

  3. 45 minutes before serving, prepare a hot grill.

  4. Set lamb chops out to come to room temperature. Combine ground cumin, pepper, and sea salt, and rub over chops on both sides.
  5. Arrange hot coals in the center of the grill. Arrange squash wedges on the grill, cook 2 minutes, then flip and cook 2 minutes more. Remove squash to the outer edge of the grill.
  6. Place lamb chops in the center over the hottest part of the grill, sear 3 - 4 minutes, then flip and cook 3 - 4 minutes more. Check after temp 6 minutes total and pull when lamb has an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. If lamb is nicely seared but not quite up to temp, set lamb along the outer edge to warm.
  7. Rest lamb 10 minutes (see note**), then serve alongside acorn squash wedges and tzatziki. Garnish with fennel fronds and pomegranate arils.
Recipe Notes

*If using un-frenched rib chops (about 1/4 pound each), reduce cook time to 2 - 3 minutes per side.

**Timelines can be tough on Thanksgiving, and owing to a nice amount of fat, shoulder chops will keep 20 minutes in a 200 degree F oven if things aren't going as planned.