Roast Leg of Lamb with Hemp Seed Pesto


This exceptional yogurt-glazed roast lamb from Miami chef Michael Schwartz gets extra flavor from a vibrant pesto made with healthy, nutty-tasting hemp seeds. Slideshow:  More Recipes for Leg of Lamb 

Roast Leg of Lamb with Hemp Seed Pesto
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins
8 to 10



  • 1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons minced rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • One 6-pound whole bone-in leg of lamb, excess fat trimmed

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • 1 3/4 cups lightly packed basil

  • 1 3/4 cups lightly packed parsley leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Salt

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds

  • Pepper


Prepare the lamb

  1. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, olive oil and 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the lamb and set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Let the lamb stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Season the lamb lightly with salt and pepper and roast for about 1 hour and 50 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 140°. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.

Make the pesto

  1. In a food processor, pulse the basil, parsley, garlic and lemon juice with a pinch of salt until minced. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in the hemp seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the lamb and serve with the pesto and lemon wedges.

Make Ahead

The hemp seed pesto can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Pair with a berry-rich, herb-scented Spanish Garnacha.

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