Monday, June 13, 2011

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Lemon Rosemary Garlic Marinate

Lamb is one of those dishes that gets me excited and is one my favorite meats!  I love the taste and there are actually many ways to enjoy it.  A spring lamb is delicious and today that is what I purchased.  Tonight we enjoyed a half leg of lamb, de-boned and fillet with a savory lemon, garlic, rosemary and olive oil marinate.  This dish went great with my saffron raisin pecan rice pilaf and roasted egg planted with a very easy to make mint-lemon Greek yogurt sauce on the side.  Dress up your outdoor dining table and have a wonderful dinner!

What You'll Need & How to Put it Together (this serves 3 to 5 people):

The Lamb:

  • 3 pounds of leg of lamb (your butcher will de-bone it, fillet it and tie it for you if you request it)
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly cracked pepper
    • Take the leg of lamb and pat dry
    • On all sides take a fork and poke holes in it gently (this helps the marinate to fully get into the lamb)
    • Season with salt and pepper
    • Rub with extra virgin olive oil
    • Rub crushed garlic cloves on all side
    • Rub rosemary on all side
    • Squeeze lemon on all sides
    • Place in a large zip lock bag and marinate for about 4 hours in the your fridge
    • About 30 minutes before cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Once heated, place lamb in roasting pan and cook for 50 to 60 minutes (I cooked the lamb for about 45 minutes to serve the it medium rare, so it should be a bit pink in the center, this yields a great flavor and the meat is not dry, obviously cook it longer if you like your meat more well done)
    • Let set for about 5 to 7 minutes, remove string and slice (it is important to remember that your meat will still cook out of the oven at this point, so be careful, you don't want to eat dry lamb!)
Saffron Raisin Pecan Rice Pilaf:

  • 3 cups of rice pilaf (this usually comes with a seasoning mix, I use Near East)
  • 3 tablespoons of margarine or butter (I use light "Smart Balance")
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Persian Saffron (all you need is a small amount)
  • 1/2 cup of golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup of roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced chives
  • 1/2 cup of finely grated carrots (you can buy them finely graded in the produce section of the store or do it yourself)
  • 6 cups of chicken stock (homemade or store bought is fine)
    • Melt butter in large sauce pan
    • Add rice and saute until it takes on a golden brown color
    • Once rice is toasted lightly, add pilaf seasoning mix, saffron, chives, carrots and raisins
    • Bring to boil, then cover and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes
    • Last minute of simmering throw in pecans and cover immediately and let stand.
    • Keep lid on until serving, but right before fluff with a fork
Roasted Eggplant:
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
    • Clean and slice egg plant (for this dish I leave the skin on because I like the texture when roasted). Slices should be a little thick, about an 1"
    • Spray baking pan with cooking spray
    • Line with round slices of eggplant
    • Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, granulated garlic and olive oil
    • Roasted in oven @ 400 for 20 minutes (turn once, once you've turned it add about 1/4 cup of chicken stock to pan, this helps soften the eggplant and adds flavor)
 Mint-Lemon Greek Yogurt Sauce:
  • 2 cups of non-fat Greek yogurt (you can get this at Trader Joe's or really any market these days)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh mint (chopped fine)
    • In a mixing bowl add yogurt and mint
    • Take lemon and zest over the bowl
    • Squeeze half of the lemon in the bowl
      • Serve on the side with the lamb, egg plant and rice pilaf
This is a great meal for the small dinner party or a romantic evening at home with a loved one!  Also, with the leftovers you can make lamb pitas for dinner the next night (that's what we're doing)!  It is always great when you can cook enough so that you can make an easy, quick dinner with the leftovers the next day, it's kind of like a "twofor!"



  1. Oh, how I love lamb! This recipe sounds wonderful and the rice dish sounds amazing.

    Your table looks so California "crisp and inviting" too....

  2. Thanks, it was yummy! Having the left overs for lamb pitas tonight! You have to try the rice dish, it was yummy and had a nice, but very mild natural sweetness to it, good compliment to the savory lamb. The color is also very nice too. It was fun to decorate the table a bit :)