Inspired by a recipe in The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook (Random House, 1982), this dish is lovely for dining al fresco with family and friends on a fine spring evening. The recipe appears in "Farming for the Love of Food," a story by Peggy Knickerbocker, about California farmers, that ran in our July/August 1995 issue.
For the Marinade and Lamb
- 1 (7-lb.) leg of lamb, butterflied and cut into 3 or 4 pieces of similar thickness
- 2 peeled, sliced onions
- 8 crushed, peeled cloves garlic
- Leaves from 10 sprigs each fresh thyme, chervil, and oregano
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Mint Sauce
- 1 tightly packed cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
For the marinade: Combine onions, garlic, thyme, chervil, oregano, wine, and olive oil in a large, shallow dish, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Place lamb in dish and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 6–8 hours.
For the mint sauce: Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, make a paste of mint leaves, vinegar, sugar, and olive oil.
Preheat grill. Remove lamb from marinade, brushing garlic and onions from meat, then place on grill and cook until medium-rare, about 12 minutes per side. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Garnish with rosemary and serve with mint sauce.