Mint is one of those herbs that grows like crazy. When we first moved into our house, I bought a small plant and had it in a window box on my deck along with my other herbs. At the end of the season I planted it in a patch of my yard along with the other perennial herbs. Right now it's competing with the oregano for space - the oregano tends to win since I use the mint more often (see my mojito for the reason why!) I also use mint in a number of Moroccan and Asian dishes.
I typically grill lamb with garlic and rosemary, but I served this with the grilled vegetables with harissa dressing so I thought the mint a better flavor pairing. It's an adaptation of the recipe that appeared in the June issue of Martha Stewart Living. I trimmed the lamb of most of the fat, leaving just enough to keep it juicy. The recipe recommended pounding the meat to a relatively even thickness - this was a first for me with leg of lamb and I'll try it again for sure. I'm not sure if it was the marinade, the meat or the pounding, but this was the tenderest leg of lamb we've ever eaten. (It could also be the way my husband grilled it - perfection!)
Easy to put together and easy to prep ahead, this would make a great party dish.
Butterflied leg of lamb with mint and garlic
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2010
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small bunch fresh mint, coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, butterflied
Pound lamb to an even 1-inch thickness. Place lamb in a baking dish, and massage marinade into meat. Refrigerate overnight or at least 4-6 hours.
Let lamb stand at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling. Heat grill to medium-high. Brush grates with oil. Grill lamb, flipping every 5 minutes for even cooking, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 130 degrees to 135 degrees for medium-rare, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Let stand for 10 minutes. Slice lamb across the grain. Garnish with fresh mint and lemon wedges if desired.