Leg of Lamb with Roasted Lemon, Garlic, Green Olives & Pine Nuts

Serves 8 – 10 guests


  • 1 each yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 each carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • 1 cup Yogurt, plain
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary, fresh, chopped
  • 1 each Leg of lamb, bone-in (approximate weight, 6-7#)
  • 12 each peeled garlic cloves, whole

Combine all ingredients (except garlic). Using a small paring knife, make 12 incisions into the lamb 2” deep. Insert a whole garlic clove into each. Rub marinade to coat the leg of lamb. Place in a pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Turn and re-coat the lamb several times. Remove lamb from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

  • 4 each lemons, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, granulated
  • 3 each heads of garlic, whole, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place lemon halves cut-side up in a small baking dish. Sprinkle each half with sugar. Place garlic cloves on a piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle water in the foil and fold the edges up to form a closed packet. Place on the baking dish with the lemons and place the dish in the oven. After 1 hour, remove the lemons.

Place lamb in a roasting pan (on a rack) and place in the same 400 degree oven. After 20 minutes, baste with some of the marinade and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Baste once every 20 minutes and cook until the internal temperature is 140 degrees. This should take about 1 hour. Remove the roast from the pan and let rest 15 minutes covered with foil. If the garlic cloves are soft, remove from oven.

Pour off the excess marinade from the roasting pan.

  • 1 cup Pinot Noir
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped

Place roasting pan over medium flame and add the wine. As it simmers, scrape all the pan drippings off the bottom so that it flavors the sauce. When the wine is reduced to half, pour the rest of the wine and the drippings into a small sauce pan and add the broth. Simmer and reduce to ½ the original volume. Strain the “lamb jus” and add chopped parsley.

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup green olives, Picholine, Lucques or other excellent quality

Carve the lamb, serve with the jus, toasted pine nuts, olives, lemons and whole heads of garlic.

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