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Cumin-Rubbed Leg of Lamb with Black Olive-Yogurt Sauce

A boneless, butterflied leg of lamb can go from grill to table in under 30 minutes. Melissa Rubel Jacobson spices the meat with a bold mix of cumin and hot paprika, then serves it with grilled sweet peppers and a cooling yogurt sauce. Leftovers, she says, are perfect in sandwiches.


slideshow  More Lamb Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • One 3 3/4-pound piece of boneless leg of lamb, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 bell peppers, quartered and seeded
  • 2 cups 2-percent plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced


  1. Light a grill. Set the lamb fat side down on a work surface. Using a large, sharp knife and holding it parallel to the work surface, cut through the thickest part of the meat, leaving it attached at one side so it can be opened like a book.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cumin with the paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Rub the cumin paste all over the lamb.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the peppers with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the lamb and peppers over moderately high heat, turning once, until the meat is medium and the peppers are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with foil.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the olives, parsley and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Slice the lamb and serve with the grilled peppers and olive-yogurt sauce.

Make Ahead

The black olive–yogurt sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Serve With

Grilled pita, naan or couscous.

Suggested Pairing

The lamb goes well with a plummy, peppery Shiraz.

Contributed By Published August 2009

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