Grilled Leg of Lamb with Feta and Herb Salsa

In this spin on the classic pairing of lamb and mint, the butterflied leg of lamb is rubbed with a garlicky, spicy mint pesto, which is also used to flavor a feta-herb salsa. The salsa makes a fantastic sandwich spread for any leftovers.


Slideshow: More Amazing Lamb Recipes


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Time(Other): plus overnight marinating

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  • 1 1/2 cups mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 5 1/2- to 6-pound butterflied leg of lamb
  • 1 pound feta cheese, preferably French, crumbled (4 cups)

How to make this recipe

  1. In a food processor, pulse the mint with the parsley, garlic and crushed red pepper until finely chopped. Add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and process to a coarse paste. Add the Parmesan and lemon zest and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Spread the lamb on a cutting board and, using a paring knife, poke the meat all over on both sides. Using your fingers, work 1/3 cup of the mint pesto into the slashes and crevices. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper and transfer to a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Meanwhile, transfer the remaining mint pesto to a bowl and stir in the feta and remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.

  4. Light a grill. Bring the marinated lamb to room temperature, about 1 hour, then brush it all over with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and grill the lamb over a medium-high fire, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 125° (150° in the thinnest part). Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the lamb and serve with the feta salsa.

Make Ahead

The feta salsa can be refrigerated overnight.


A butterflied (cut so it's flattened) leg of lamb cooks faster and more consistently than a leg left as a very thick piece. If you're not sure how to butterfly, ask your butcher to do it for you.

Contributed By Photo © Helene Dujardin Published June 2005

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