Roast Lamb with Mint Pesto

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15 min


8 to 10 servings

* PLUS Marinating Time: 360 minutes, Roasting Time: 120 minutes


  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 2-kg bone-in legs of lamb


  • For pesto, coarsely chop garlic and place in food processor. Finely grate 4 tsp (20 mL) peel and squeeze 1/2 cup (125 mL) juice from lemons. Add to garlic along with herbs and seasonings. Pulse to chop. Add oil and whirl to purée.
  • Remove as much surface fat from lamb as possible. With a sharp knife, score lamb, cutting about 1/4 in. (0.5 cm) through remaining fat and surface area of meat. Place lamb legs in a roasting pan or baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour pesto over top and rub in as best you can. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • Bring lamb to room temperature before roasting. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Roast lamb, uncovered, in centre of oven for 30 min. Then reduce oven temperature to 350F (180C). For medium-rare lamb, continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of meat reads 140F (60C), about 60 to 70 more min. Let stand 10 min before carving.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 375,
  • Protein
  • 49 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 3 g,
  • Fat
  • 18 g,

A leg of lamb is much easier for a party than a bunch of chops. This year, skip the mint jelly and try a spring-inspired pesto instead. Just whirl fresh mint with a little basil and lots of garlic and lemon.