Pesto Grilled Leg of Lamb
Grilling brings an unparalleled depth of flavor to a variety of meats, but one of our absolute favorites has to be a boneless leg of lamb. This cut, when butterflied, provides ample surface area to absorb a flavorful marinade and to make contact with the fire of your grill. Today, we're going to share a sumptuous Pesto Grilled Leg of Lamb recipe that will leave you and your guests craving for more. With a classic pesto marinade, the lamb browns into an irresistible herbaceous crust. The best part is that this recipe makes double the pesto you need, so you can use the extra to whip up a quick pasta side dish or a refreshing salad.
Here’s what you'll need to recreate this delightful dish:
- 2 ¾ ounces Parmesan cheese, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 1 garlic clove
- Kosher salt
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 2 ½ ounces (about 5 cups) basil leaves
- One 3-5 pound North 44 Farm boneless leg of lamb
You can order your boneless leg of lamb directly from our website!
Now, let's get into the method of preparing the Pesto Grilled Leg of Lamb:
- To make pesto, in a food processor, pulse the Parmesan until it resembles coarse sand. Transfer to a small bowl. To the food processor, add the walnuts, garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Process until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute. Add the cheese and about half the oil and process until smooth. Tear the basil as you add it to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the remaining oil and pulse until incorporated.
- Pat the lamb dry, then cut it at its crease (where the lamb is folded over) so it can lay flat. Rub the lamb all over with enough pesto to coat, which should be about half the pesto (reserve the extra pesto for a side dish; see headnote). Refrigerate for up to 8 hours to marinate.
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for two-zone cooking over medium-high heat. (For a charcoal grill, pour the coals on one side. For a gas grill, heat all burners covered on high, then reduce one burner to medium-high and turn off the other.) Clean the grates.
- Rub most of the pesto off the lamb. Grill the lamb over direct heat, flipping and rotating as needed for even cooking, until well browned and the meat registers 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare. This could take anywhere from 12 to 30 minutes depending on the size and shape of your meat. If the meat starts to char before it’s done, move it to the cooler part of the grill, cover the grill, and let it finish cooking over indirect heat.
- Rest for 10 minutes, then thinly slice against the grain.
This Pesto Grilled Leg of Lamb recipe is a perfect balance of succulence and flavor that will delight your taste buds. The process is quite straightforward considering the spectacular outcome. It serves 4-6 people and takes approximately 1 hour to prepare, with a difficulty level of 3 out of 10. This means even a novice cook can pull off this amazing recipe.