- 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
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- One 3 1/2-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed of fat
- Tip: Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
Very cold meat won't roast evenly. Place it on the counter while preheating the oven.
- Durable cotton kitchen string is sold at kitchenware stores, most gourmet markets and large supermarkets. Do not use sewing thread or yarn, which may contain inedible dyes or unsavory chemicals.
- A heavy-duty, high-sided roasting pan is essential for conducting heat evenly. Never substitute a cookie sheet. A broiler pan will work in a pinch, but the roast will inevitably be somewhat chewier.
- Give it a rest. A roast's internal temperature will rise about 10 degrees while resting. The natural juices will also reincorporate into the meat's fibers and the skin or crust will dry out slightly for a more toothsome yet more succulent dinner.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the basil, mint, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Sprinkle the 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.
Roast the lamb until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140 degrees 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.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
192 calories; 10g total fat; 3g total saturated fat; 76mg cholesterol; 228mg sodium; 1g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 25g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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