Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic-Crusted Rack of Lamb

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Today in Greece, it’s one of the biggest celebrations of food, it’s   img_1841“Tsiknopempti” or literally, “burnt Thursday”.

In Greece, they are well into Carnival celebrations. The most well known city for Carnival celebrations takes place in Patra but there are other cities & towns with their own unique, most interesting and often hilarious ways of celebrating the pagan rituals just before Lent.

Take a look at this report on the Carnival in Patra from the Travel Channel UK———>Carnival in Patra

Now back to Tsiknopempti. The compound word was given to this day from the very evident of smell of roasting meat on this Thursday. Although Greeks are huge om grilling and roasting their meats, you’ll find the majority packed in tavernas where platters upon platters of meat are served to the waiting mouths of hungry Carnival revellers.

Over here in Canada, it is too cold to be grilling outside or to be sitting “al fresco” enjoying a feast of endless platters of meats in the terrace of a taverna.

Therefore, one has to adapt to one’s surroundings and make do.

The subject – lamb. The inspiration -Michael Psilakis. The occasion – Tsiknopempti.

For those not in the know, Michael Psilakis is  the chef and part-owner of Anthos and Kefi in Mahattan, New York. Last year I had the pleasure of dining at Kefi and I enjoyed Michael’s twists & turns with Greek food.

This dish probably was something he would have offered at the more upscale Anthos. It’s not that it’s a complicated dish but there are some extra-steps required to pull this dish off with panache.


I highly recommend roasting the garlic (integral part of the dish’s flavour) and for that perfect pink lamb, a meat thermometer here is your friend.

As a pairing with this visually attractive and delicious dish, I whipped up a spin on my Potatoes and Feta “au gratin”. I toned down the dish, omitting the rosemary and olives and just went for potatoes, Bechamel and Feta.img_1834

The star here was the rack of lamb and I was looking for a creamy, warm pairing to complement the lamb and it’s bold flavours.

The third component to the dish was some blanced green beans that got tossed in some the extra paste that was made for the lamb’s sun-dried tomato and garlic crust.img_1884

I brought the whole dish together with the serving of an Alpha Estate Xinomavro. Xinomavro grapes are an indigenous Greek varietal Alpha Estate’s winery is located in my parents’ municipality of Amynteon, Florinis.

Got a hot date coming up? Perhaps you want to treat your significant other, husband or wife a feast of the Greek Gods? This could be your dish.


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author. © 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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53 Comments for “Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic-Crusted Rack of Lamb”


I love lamp roasted like this, but have to admit i like mine fully done, just personaly liking, here to the carnival buzz in on next tuesday was have a big procession etc..


Everything about this looks great! Especially your gratin… I mean I know the lamb is the star and it looks great too, but feta with potatoes and cream? yum!


Hey peter!
I’m popping my head out from blog-sabbatical to say nice one on the new blog! It’s 32c here, so I think the alfresco version would suit me better right now. Your lamb is beautifully cooked, in fact, altogether a beautifully put together dinner!
Nom nom nom ;)


Wow, that is one amazing looking meal. I order lamb out a lot but almost never make it at home, now I’m tempted to put it on the menu


Just reading the title of the post before clicking on it in my blog list, I thought “How decadent!” Indeed I was right. This meal is amazing. The lamb, the au gratin, the green beans … I don’t know which to salivate over first!

We were away for the long weekend and having just returned the day before, it totally escaped my attention that it was Tsiknopempti … didn’t we just finish up with Christmas??? Where does the time go … ;)


Happy ‘Burnt Thursday’! I love lamb but somehow they are pretty pricey here. Or maybe they are pricey everywhere and its just me who doesn’t know it. lol.

Peter, can you find mint sauce in Canada? Just wondering since they only sell mint jelly.

p.s. Thanks for the link! :)


Just came home from the market with a nice lot of meat to grill in the fireplace tonight!! Your lamb is a true thing of beauty – and oh-so-tasty!! Καλές Απόκριες!


Whoa … love the little potato tunnel in that first photo! Those frenched chops look amazing, as do the potatoes! I’ve not heard of Burnt Thursday. Is there a common toast to be made, too? I wouldn’t be able to make too much conversation, though, as I would be busy gnawing on my lamb bones to bet every last morsel! Love those green beans you plated with the L and P’s, too. YUM!


Pardon my language but holy shit, this looks like an amazing meal! Between the lamb (cooked perfectly by the way), the sundried tomatoes, the potatoes…I’m in heaven.


Oooh look at you and your fancy presentation!
Wow is all I can say – that lamb looks good, really good!
As for the potatoes and feta – guess what I’m making tonight?!!
Great photos and great recipe Peter as always.


Delicious looking lamb. I agree with you rather than with the posters here. Lamb is better when it’s a little pink!

When you said “Carnival” I was thinking this was a Mardi Gras recipe. Burnt Thursday sounds like a variation on Fat Tuesday – well in my twisted mind it does anyway.


Another fabulous recipe. The sun dried toms sound delicious! Just made some scalloped potatoes myself last weekend. Your version with feta is something I know we’d like. Loving the new banner photo!


A very nice plate !
Χθες βγηκα για σουβλακια κ εφαγα κι ενα για σενα !


This is definitely a dish for a hot date. The lamb is perfectly cooked and the potatoes and feta dish looks mind-blowing. Thanks, Peter!


It’s amazing how time flies and we are already in the pre-Lenten period. Your dishes all look delicious. Καλές αποκριές!!


you have got everything right here! garlic! sundried tomatoes! feta! lamb! all those typical mediterranean ingredients i adore!! great dish peter!