Fennel-Crusted Grilled Rack of Lamb

Fennel-Crusted Grilled Rack of Lamb Recipe
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Jesse Silver
Fennel seeds and rosemary perfume every bite of this tenderest of cuts. You can also roast the lamb in a 450° oven (meat side up) until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°, about 25 minutes. Paired with grilled asparagus and long-simmered white beans, it makes an Easter-worthy dinner.


Serves 8 to 10
Total time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

Recipe from


Recipe Time

Total: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes
Marinate: 4 Hours

Nutritional Information

Calories 552
Caloriesfromfat 73 %
Protein 34 g
Fat 45 g
Satfat 18 g
Carbohydrate 1.5 g
Fiber 0.7 g
Sodium 798 mg
Cholesterol 146 mg


2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
3 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 racks American lamb (7 to 8 ribs each), bone ends frenched and all but a thin layer of outer fat removed*


1. Crush fennel seeds, rosemary, and garlic with salt in a mortar, or chop as finely as possible. Mix with pepper and oil.

2. Slather lamb with marinade. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

3. Take lamb out of refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. Wrap bone ends with foil.

4. Heat a grill to medium-high (400°) with one area left clear of coals (for charcoal) or a burner turned off (for gas) to make an indirect heat area. Grill lamb, meat side down, over indirect heat 5 minutes. Turn over and grill 10 minutes. Turn again; grill 10 minutes more. Move lamb to direct heat, meat side down, and grill 3 to 5 minutes, or until it's crisp and browned and registers 140° (for medium-rare).

5. Let lamb rest on a platter 15 minutes. Cut between the bones to serve.

*Leave the barest sheath of fat on the meat--enough to crisp up on the grill but not so much that the dripping fat creates an inferno.