to salads

Spring Lamb Salad

12 cups Mesclun blend or green and red leaf lettuce, spinach leaves, Belgian endive and watercress, washed and dried
1 pound asparagus spears
1 red bell pepper (optional), sliced in strips
Orange Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Lamb chop preparation:
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 tablespoon dried thyme, crushed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 rib lamb chops (1-1/2" thick), trimmed

Muffin preparation:
3 Bays English Muffins, lightly toasted
Olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
3 ounces Montrachet goat cheese

Orange Mustard Vinaigrette
3 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons orange zest, grated
2 Teaspoons sugar
1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper, ground

Salad: Reserve salad greens. Peel asparagus and cut off lower ends to make 3 inch spears. Steam for 5 minutes, or until tender. Refresh in cold water for 2 minutes. Drain and blot dry. Toss salad greens lightly in Orange Mustard Vinaigrette. Divide evenly among serving plates. Divide asparagus tips and pepper strips equally around salads. Set aside until ready to serve.

Lamb: Combine olive oil, rosemary, thyme, brown sugar and salt. Divide evenly among lamb chops, pressing the mixture onto each side. Broil for 10-13 minutes per side (4 inches from heat). Hold warm for serving.

Muffins: Cut toasted muffin halves into quarters. Brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano and salt. Spread goat cheese on each quarter. Arrange chops and muffin quarters around salad; drizzle with vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette: Combine juice, vinegar, mustard, orange zest, sugar and shallot. Slowly whisk in oils. Season with salt and pepper.