Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir and lamb dance together like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But this dish has vinegar and citrus in it, so look for Pinot from cooler climates which will bring the acidity to match. Burgundy, of course, or Sonoma Coast.

Early autumn marks the last opportunity to find fresh, sun-ripened black mission figs. Their lusciousness has long been a complement to the concentrated tang of a good balsamic vinegar. In fact, it’s not too difficult to find fig infused vinegar, a last resort should fresh fruit be unavailable. Drizzled over lamb with a light Provencal-style salad, the flavors of this dish offer an easy transition into fall eating.

Serves 4; Total Time: 35 minutes


1 1/2 lb boneless lamb loin or filet
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar plus 3 tablespoons reserved
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
8 small waxy potatoes, halved
1 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
4 oz arugula, baby spinach, or mesclun
8 black mission figs, ripe, cut into quarters.
Salt and pepper, to taste
High quality olive oil, to drizzle


1. Trim lamb and place in a shallow baking dish.

2. Whisk together 1/2 cup vinegar, juice, sugar, and oregano in a small bowl. Pour over lamb to marinate, twenty minutes total, flipping halfway.

3. Boil water in a large pot. Add a pinch of salt, green beans, and cook uncovered 4-5 minutes. Remove beans. Using the same water, add potatoes, cooking until fork-tender, 15-20 minutes. Rinse beans and potatoes under cold water to cool. Set aside.

4. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Remove lamb from marinade and cook in pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove and let rest, covered. Add marinade to pan, cook two minutes.

5. Divide salad greens, potatoes, green beans, and figs across plates. Season with salt, pepper to taste. Drizzle olive oil and reserved vinegar on salad, to taste. Slice lamb, divide and place on top of greens. Spoon warm pan juices on top. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.