How I love full-blown summer — fleeting though it is — with its farm stands and farmers markets, not to mention one’s own garden bounty.

I’m always looking for ways to use the abundance of mint in my garden — isn’t everyone? — and this rosemary and mint sauce for lamb is one great way to serve it.

The tender and creamy squash custard is an ideal accompaniment.

You could complete this meal with garlic-roasted tiny new potatoes and a seasonal fruit tart.


Servings: 4

Rosemary and mint are both classical flavorings with lamb, and here I’ve used both in a refreshing nut-free version of pesto. If you don’t finish the pesto with this meal, try using it as a baked potato topping or blending it with mayonnaise or sour cream as a vegetable dip.

½ cup lightly packed mint leaves (see Note)

½ cup lightly packed parsley sprigs

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, pulled from stems

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning meat

¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

¼ cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin

8 loin lamb chops, cut 1 to 1½ inches thick

Coarse-ground or cracked black pepper

For the pesto, in the work bowl of a food processor, combine mint, parsley, rosemary, cheese, garlic, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper flakes. Pulse to make a rough paste. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the feed tube and process until the sauce is a smooth puree. May be stored overnight in the refrigerator, but it will darken in color slightly (see note below). Return to room temperature before using.

Build a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. Season lamb chops with salt and black pepper. Spoon out 2 tablespoons of the pesto and brush it over the lamb chops. Reserve remainder for passing at the table.

Grill the lamb, turning once, until it cooks to the desired degree of doneness, about 10 minutes total for medium to medium-rare. Pass a bowl of the pesto for spooning over the meat at the table.

Note: To help prevent darkening you can blanch the mint for about 10 seconds in a pot of boiling water, transfer to a bowl half-full of ice cubes, and drain on paper towels before pureeing.


This delicate custard casserole is a perfect way to showcase the prodigal flood of tender summer squash that inundates us every summer.

You can make it with any of the squashes listed in the recipe, but somehow it always seems to taste best with a mix of both yellow and green.

Serves: 6 to 8.

1½ pounds summer squash, any one type or a mixture of zucchini (green or yellow), yellow crookneck or pattypan, sliced about ¼-inch thick (6 to 8 cups)

1¼ cups shredded medium-sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

3 eggs

2 cups whole milk

½ teaspoon dry mustard

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch squash until it is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Drain and pour into a buttered shallow 2- to 2½-quart baking dish.

Sprinkle with cheeses and toss gently to mix.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, salt and black pepper.

(Those two parts of the recipe can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead and refrigerated separately.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pour egg mixture evenly over squash and sprinkle with the cayenne.

Place baking dish in a larger pan and fill the larger pan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, until a small knife inserted three-quarters of the way to the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.

Serve hot or warm.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Lobster!” (Storey, 2012). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:


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