- 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
- 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.