Roast leg of lamb with basil & mint pesto

Roast leg of lamb with basil & mint pesto

  • 2kg lamb leg, skin scored (see tip)

    Lamb

    laam
    A lamb is a sheep that is under 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • fresh garden herbs, to serve (optional)
  • sliced lemon, to serve (optional)

    Lemon

    le-mon
    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

For the pesto

  • 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • small pack basil, leaves only

    Basil

    ba-zil
    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • small pack mint, leaves only

    Mint

    mi-nt
    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 25g pine nuts
  • 25g grated parmesan

    Parmesan

    parm-ee-zan
    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • juice ½ lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon
    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  1. First, make the pesto. Put all the ingredients (except the olive oil and lemon juice) and a pinch of salt into the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. While the processor is on, drizzle the olive oil in to make a paste. Tip the pesto into a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice.
  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the scored lamb leg in a large roasting tin and use half the pesto to generously coat the skin and flesh, pressing it between all the cracks for extra juiciness. Put the rest of the pesto in the fridge, covered with cling film, and remove just before serving.
  3. Roast the lamb for 1 hr 45 mins. Check during cooking that it’s not drying out – if the base of the roasting tin starts to look dry, spread a little more pesto over the top of the lamb.
  4. Remove the lamb from the tin, cover with foil and leave to rest for 30-40 mins before serving on lemon slices and fresh garden herbs, if you like. Carve at the table and serve with the remaining pesto to drizzle over.


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