Tunisian Spiced Lamb Chops & Chard

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A great complement for lamb, the bold dry rub in this recipe is a typical Tunisian combination of spices that includes cumin, caraway and crushed red pepper. Sautéed chard gets a twist with toasted pine nuts and sweet dates. We loved the sweetness of the dates in this dish, but we also tried it without and thought it was delicious. The choice is yours. Round out the meal with some whole-wheat couscous and a glass of Australian Shiraz.

"Use whole dates and chop them up. The chopped dates I bought (Sunmaid) were hard as a rock. "
Tunisian Spiced Lamb Chops & Chard

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 lean lamb loin chops, trimmed (about 2 pounds)
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates, (optional)
  • 1 pound chard, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (see Tip)


  1. Combine cumin, caraway, 3/4 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper and pepper in a small bowl. Rub both sides of lamb chops with the spice rub. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking to desired doneness, 3 to 5 more minutes per side for medium. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add shallot and dates (if using); cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the chard topped with the lamb chops.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To toast pine nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


Per serving: 345 calories; 21 g fat (4 g sat, 9 g mono); 90 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 33 g protein; 4 g fiber; 568 mg sodium; 1069 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (140% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv) Magnesium (38% dv), Iron (35% dv), Zinc (33% dv), Potassium (31% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 2 fat

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