In Tuscany, we traditionally serve a whole roast leg of lamb for spring celebrations: Easter, a wedding engagement, a baptism. The meat is rich and flavorful and, of course, when you roast a whole leg, there’s plenty for everyone gathered around the table. This roast is coated with a crust of dried cherries and herbs that’s a delicious complement to the flavor of the meat
Choose a whole leg of lamb covered with firm, creamy-white fat. (Crumbly, brittle, yellowish fat is a sign of age.) Before you take the leg home, ask the butcher to trim off most of the visible fat, but to leave the shank end on.
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I made this dish for a special luncheon party for dear friends. It was a huge hit. The crust has such an unusual flavour combination which also contributed to a delectable sauce. I served the lamb with a fennel and tomato gratin (Yottam Ottelenghi recipe) and an arugula salad with roasted asparagus and a lemon vinaigrette, followed by a lemon tart for dessert. Our guests loved the meal. Thank you, Fine Cooking, for the inspiration.
This is an excellent recipe that is a cinch to prep yet makes for a sophisticated presentation. It's a crowd-pleaser and has become part of our family Easter dinner tradition.To prevent the drippings from burning, it helps to put 1/2 cup water or broth in the bottom of the pan toward the end of the cooking time.
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