Culinary Salute to Spring
This lush and hearty dish is perfect for the season, filled as it is with the tease of spring and the family celebrations of Easter and Passover. A definite crowd pleaser, lamb is the ideal choice for Easter dinner and for Sephardic-based Passover Seders. The mint and oregano herbed lamb cooks slowly in the oven, leaving you free to prepare the side dishes.
As if it needed yet another virtue, the lamb’s juices and the basting wine mixture flavours the vegetable tian underneath, which serves as a succulent accompaniment to the meat.
Lamb has the lowest cholesterol of all the red meats. Calorie and fat wise, a 100-gram serving of leg of lamb actually has fewer calories and fat grams than the skin-on chicken breast, thigh or drumstick.
Roasted Leg of Lamb on Bed of Potatoes, Zucchini and Tomatoes
When buying leg of lamb, be sure the aitchbone (part of the pelvic bone) is removed for easier carving. Look for meat that is pinkish red; the darker the red, the older the lamb.
1 leg of lamb (about 5 lb/2.5 kg)
4 garlic cloves, slivered
1 tsp (5 ml) each, dried oregano and mint
1/2 tsp (2 ml) each, salt andepper
1/4 cup (50 m) lemon juice
4 tomatoes, sliced
4 onions, sliced
2 large zucchini, sliced
5 large potatoes, sliced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/4 cup (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, sliced
3/4 cup (175 ml) white wine
Tian: In large bowl, gently toss together tomatoes, onions, zucchini, potatoes, garlic, oregano, salt and oil. Transfer to large roasting pan. Top with lemon slices. Pour in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the wine. Roast, uncovered, in preheated 425 F (220 C) oven for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim any excess fat from lamb, leaving at least 1/4-inch (5 mm) layer. With paring knife, cut small slits all over lamb; insert garlic slivers. Sprinkle fatty side of lamb with oregano, mint, salt and pepper. Combine lemon juice with remaining wine; set aside.