- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for burshing
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- One 1 1/2-pound butterflied and well-trimmed leg of lamb
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium eggplant, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
- 4 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
How to make this recipe
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a blender, combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic and water with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Blend, stopping and scraping the sides of the blender as necessary, until a thick paste forms. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the bread crumbs.
Lay the lamb flat, boned side up, on a large work surface and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the pesto over the lamb, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Roll up the lamb and tie with butcher's twine; season with salt and pepper. Set the lamb on a rack in a large roasting pan and brush it with more olive oil. Arrange the eggplant and tomato slices in a single overlapping layer around the lamb. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Roast the lamb for 15 minutes. reduce the oven temperature to 375° and roast for 30 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 140° for slightly pink meat. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and cover it loosely with foil; let stand for about 10 minutes. Slice the lamb and serve with the vegetables.
A gutsy Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant Bordeaux like those from Château Pichon Lalande Pauiliac balances the assertive flavors of the pesto.