My Recipe Box

Grilled Boneless Leg of Lamb with Black Olive Purée


Serves 8

  • To learn more, read:
    Cooking Away
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 124

This herb-and-garlic-rubbed lamb is super easy to make yet so full of flavor, especially when paired with a tangy olive spread and a squeeze of lemon. If you don’t have a grill (or the weather isn't grill-appropriate), you can roast the lamb in a 425°F oven for about 25 minutes.

  • 1 cup pitted black olives, such as Kalamata
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as a mix of parsley, rosemary, and thyme
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 4 to 4-1/2 lb. butterflied leg of lamb
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 large lemon, seeded

Finely chop the olives until paste-like. Whisk in half of the olive oil and 1 Tbs. of the herbs.

Combine the remaining herbs and oil with the garlic in a small bowl.

Rub the herb and garlic marinade all over the lamb and wrap it well in plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

When ready to grill, prepare a medium (375°F) charcoal or gas grill fire. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Grill the lamb, flipping once, until the thickest part is 120°F for medium rare, 15 to 18 minutes.

Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, squeeze the lemon half over it, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, drizzle any accumulated juice over it, and serve with the olive purée.

Make Ahead Tips

You can refrigerate the marinade-rubbed lamb (wrapped in plastic) for up to 24 hours. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling.

You can make and refrigerate the olive purée a few hours ahead; let come to room temperature before using.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with potatoes and green beans or a green salad topped with goat cheese.


Leftovers are great the next day on a sandwich or in a main-course salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 450, Fat (kcal): 29, Fat Calories (g): 260, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Protein (g): 44, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 18, Carbohydrates (mg): 3, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2.5, Sodium (g): 710, Cholesterol (g): 135, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Jennifer May

Sounds delicious , will try it this week

Retrieving and favoriteing so I can make this again for guests this weekend. Absolutely delicious. Followed the recipe to the T and will again this time.

I made this last night, and both my guest and I agreed it was some of the best lamb we had ever had. The olive relish really added tang to the dish. I followed the recipe exactly except that I added some preserved lemon to the olives, and I let the lamb sit in the rub (refrigerated) for 5-6 hours. I will definitely be making this again.

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