Posted by: Todd and Diane
Spring is one of our favorite seasons to celebrate food and family gatherings. This time of the year, new life emerges from the garden and markets are bursting with fresh spring vegetables. Best of all, the arrival of spring means that many of our friends who live in colder regions are beginning to thaw out from the frigid winter cold and their gardens are also beginning to emerge from hibernation.
As spring arrives, we focus on family celebrations with meals that are inspired by fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs and friendly conversations that last late into the night.
Traditional celebrations feature a lamb roast as the highlight of the table. Our recipe calls for a special New Zealand lamb roast marinated with olive oil, fresh minced garlic and tender new sprigs of fragrant rosemary that’s popping up all over the garden. After about an hour and a half of roasting in your Thermador oven, the fragrant aroma will fill the house and everyone will be ready to officially welcome the spring season.
To accompany this gorgeous lamb roast is a fabulous fresh mint pesto made from mint plucked straight from the garden. Every year a fresh mint pesto makes an appearance at our table, and it’s a signature flavor and fragrance that reminds us of how all the new vegetables are exploding with flavor. Complementing this feast is also a side of fresh peas, delicately cooked in shallots and olive oil.
This trio of lamb, mint pesto and spring peas pairs perfectly with a few great bottles of wine. It’s a win-win feast and everyone leaves the table full, satisfied and ready to bring-on the best of everything that spring has to offer.
A delicious roast lamb with fresh rosemary and garlic is satisfying on its own, however when the mint pesto and sautéed peas are served alongside the lamb it truly creates a perfect spring time centerpiece.
A general guideline for roasting boneless legs of lamb is 15 minutes per pound for a rare roast, however a meat thermometer will give you the most accurate assessment of how cooked the roast is. The temperature of the lamb roast should increase about 5 degrees Fahrenheit as you remove it from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes. A rare roast measures at 1350 F after resting, and a medium roast comes in at about 1400 after resting.
For the lamb roast:
4 pound boneless leg of lamb
Olive oil, for coating the lamb
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Preheat your Thermador oven to roast at 3500 F. Rinse and pat dry the leg of lamb – if desired you can tie the roast with kitchen string to keep it tight and to help retain the juices. Coat the lamb with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and sear the sides of the lamb roast until browned – about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a baking dish and place in the oven. Roast for 1 hour – 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the roast is 1300 F (rare) or 1400 F (medium). Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes. Remove the kitchen string if you tied the roast. Slice and serve the lamb roast with the mint pesto and sautéed green peas.
For the mint pesto:
8 cups loosely packed mint leaves
¼ cup Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Freshly grated lemon zest from 3 medium lemons
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Combine the mint, parsley, pine nuts, walnuts, lemon zest and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and sugar and process until smooth or to your desired texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue using the processor to combine the ingredients. Serve with the roast lamb and sautéed green peas.
For the sautéed green peas:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots, sliced
3 cups shucked fresh green peas (or quality frozen green peas)
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and continue to sauté until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and cook until they are heated through – about one minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve the peas warm with the roast lamb and pint pesto.