NZ Woman's Weekly

Recipe – Lamb rack with macadamia crust & herb pesto

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A crunchy nutty layer puts the “wow” factor in these juicy pink lamb cutlets. Add fresh herbs or spices to the crumb mix if you like.

The mayonnaise may seem strange, but it’s a great trick when adding a crust or topping to meat and fish – it keeps the meat moist and helps the nuts stick. Use lamb backstraps for a slightly cheaper option.

  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, toasted, plus ¼ cup for pesto
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 small lamb racks, trimmed
  • 8 small vine-ripened tomatoes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sprinkle of sea salt


  • 1 cup spinach leaves or watercress
  • ½ cup herbs (parsley, thyme, coriander, basil), roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil

1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In the food processor, combine ½ cup toasted macadamia nuts, panko breadcrumbs, mustard and garlic. Pulse until very fine.

2 Fold in the egg white. Spread mayonnaise along the flesh side of each lamb rack and press on the macadamia crumbs. Place the racks on a baking paper-lined tray and cook for 15-20 minutes or to your liking.

3 Drizzle the vine tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, and roast alongside the lamb for the final 10 minutes. Rest lamb for a further 10 before slicing.

4 For the pesto, combine the spinach, herbs, lemon zest and salt in the food processor or jug with stick blender and whiz until fine. Add remaining macadamia nuts and olive oil, and pulse until smooth and bright green.

5 Serve the sliced lamb cutlets with a good dollop of pesto and a few roasted tomatoes.

About Jo Wilcox

"I have had a love of food my whole life. Lucky for me my mum allowed me to play in the kitchen from the very beginning – from sitting up on the bench watch her peeling peaches for preserving or planning dinner parties from her many Womans Weekly Cookbooks. Starting in my local beach café, I went onto professional cookery training and my big foodie OE working as a professional chef and nanny. At 21 I launched my first restaurant. The following years saw me owning a gourmet cake and dessert shop and then a pasta deli before I discovered the world of food styling. Today I work in food styling making food look beautiful and tasty in packaging and advertising shoots, as well as my most important role yet – Food Editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. I aim to provide great meal solutions that are interesting and approachable, and of course gorgeous foodie photos that make you want to cook them! I love the feedback and the knowledge that people actually cook them and have great results. If I can give someone a love of cooking and enjoying family meal times and gatherings then my job is done!" See

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