Roast Leg of Lamb with Parsley Walnut Pesto #SundaySupper

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Happy Easter!! Today our Sunday Supper theme is Passover and/or Easter dishes – very apropos, don’t you think? It really got me thinking about how we celebrated Easter growing up, particularly the edible part.

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Where I’m from, you can always count on two dishes making an appearance on every Easter table: deviled eggs, and glazed ham. While I have come quite far in expanding my palate and recovering from picky eating, I’m still only human. I don’t like everything out there. Thanksgiving stuffing, for one. You know what else I can’t stand?

Glazed ham.
And deviled eggs.
Those are seriously two of my least favorite things in the world.

Clearly, Easter is not my holiday.

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Until moving to New York, that is. Easter is a bit different up here. There are still deviled eggs, it seems I’ll never escape those completely, and yes, some people do a ham, but I’ve pleasantly discovered that lamb is a very popular Easter dish here. Seeing as I adore lamb in any cut or preparation, I think it’s safe to say, I’ve found my people.

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Of course I bring you a roast leg of lamb today. This was rich, flavorful, meaty, and beautifully textured. It was also a tad underdone when I first sliced into it, thanks to my meat thermometer hitting the skids at a very inopportune moment. I ended up having to cook this beautiful meat without a clue of its internal temperature at any given time. So we kind of had some lamb tartare. While not my intention, I wasn’t too upset as I like lamb tartare. But if you don’t, then I highly recommend a working meat thermometer. And yes, that is why my pictures are rather limited. I didn’t want to show you the rare part that was, let’s face it, still bleating a little.

But, I would highly urge you to look past all the hiccups my malfunctioning meat thermometer decided to cause and give this one a go. It’s really amazing. And can we say leftover sandwiches??? Wheeeee!!!!

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{One Year Ago: Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette, Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches}

Source: Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

½ cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
¼ cup fresh marjoram leaves
4 tsp kosher salt, plus more for the lamb
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for the lamb
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey
3-6 tbs olive oil, plus more for the lamb
¾ cup toasted walnuts
1 (5-6 lb.) boneless leg of lamb, butterflied (get the butcher to do this for you)

Make the pesto: in the bowl of a food processor, combine the parsley, marjoram, salt, garlic cloves, pepper, vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Add the walnuts and process again until smooth, adding more olive oil if need be, but not too much. You want this to be a very thick pesto.
Unroll the lamb all the way. Rub the meat with olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper. Spoon half the pesto into the center of the flattened lamb and use a spoon to smooth it out, leaving about a 1-inch border. Roll the meat back up and tie it in several pieces with kitchen string.
Rub additional olive oil, salt and pepper on the outside of the lamb. Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. Let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes while you preheat your oven.
Speaking of which, preheat your oven to 450 F. Roast the lamb until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F and roast until an instant read meat thermometer registers 125 F for medium-rare, about 135-140 F for medium. I highly recommend you do not go beyond medium. For medium-rare, this will take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. Seriously, use a functioning meat thermometer.
When the lamb is done, let it rest 10 to 15 minutes before carving. While it is resting, spoon the remaining pesto into the roasting pan and stir to combine with the meat drippings. Scoop up the pesto drippings and transfer to a gravy boat or small bowl.
To carve and serve the lamb, cut away the kitchen strings, and throw them deep into the trash if you have pets. Using a sharp knife, cut the meat against the grain into slices. Serve with the pesto pan drippings spooned over the lamb.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the fabulous Sunday Supper team!



Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:


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64 responses to “Roast Leg of Lamb with Parsley Walnut Pesto #SundaySupper

  1. Italians eat lamb for Easter and I love it. Your roast looks amazing, definitely a must try recipe! 🙂

  2. Thanks for contributing a main dish for today’s #SundaySupper. Happy holiday, and I hope to meet you at tonight’s Twitter chat.


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  13. What a beautiful roast! That parsley pesto to serve with it sounds perfect too!

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  17. Leg of lamb was up for consideration for our Easter entree…but my oldest always requests ham 🙂 Yours is gorgeous…I’ll have to bring it up again next year!

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  20. Mmmmm The walnut pesto, genius! Yummy!!! Happy Easter

  21. Your lamb looks perfectly done! I want, I want!

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  24. What an amazing looking recipe for Easter, I just love it!!!

  25. That pesto sounds fabulous!

  26. This would make a pesto lover out of even my mom!

  27. I tried making lamb one Easter and all I heard was, “Where’s the ham?” lol Your lamb looks delicious!

  28. I keep telling myself that I’m going to attempt roasting a leg of lamb. Alas I’ve yet to try. Your recipe could be my inspiration though. It’s looks great!

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  30. I love a wonderful roasted leg of lamb and yours looks fantastic! The addition of pesto sounds like Heaven on a plate!

  31. oh my goodness!!! This roasted leg of lamb is a beauty!!! and I must try this walnut pesto!!!! YUM!

  32. Parsley walnut pesto is an excellent idea and the leg of lamb sounds delicious! Now I am REALLY craving lamb. Seriously.

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  35. That pesto looks amazing!

  36. I’ve never cooked lamb before (other than ground lamb burgers), but I always love ordering it at restaurants. One of these days I’m going to try it–your version looks like a great place to start!

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    valuable information to us, keep it up.

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