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Mint-Pesto-Rubbed Leg of Lamb

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 2 hrs

Mint-Pesto-Rubbed Leg of Lamb

Here, we make a roulade with a leg of lamb and fill and coat it with fresh mint pesto, which is a refreshing alternative to the traditional mint jelly that often accompanies lamb.


  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, (see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 3 1/2-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied (see Tip) and trimmed


Step 1
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2
Place basil, mint, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Sprinkle lamb all over with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pesto; spread the rest over the top side of the lamb and roll it closed. (It will not be a perfect cylinder.) Tie kitchen string around the roast in five places; do not tie too tightly or the pesto will squeeze out. Rub the reserved pesto over the outside of the lamb and place in a roasting pan.
Step 3
Roast the lamb until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°F for medium-rare, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the lamb, leaving the string in place to help hold the roast together.


Tips: To toast pine nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 5 minutes. Have your butcher “butterfly” a boneless leg of lamb (that is, open it up to a large, flat cut of meat); ask that any visible fat be trimmed off.

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