Use this flavorful combination as a marinade for boneless leg of lamb or as a finishing sauce for grilled lamb loin chops. If using as a marinade, make it a day or at least several hours ahead to give the meat plenty of marinating time. In summer, serve the lamb with a fresh tomato-herb salad, perhaps with local feta.  For another delicious leg of lamb marinade, see Grilled Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Mint, Garlic, and Ginger.

Serves 4

  • 6 or 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed rosemary leaves, stripped from stems
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons black olive tapenade
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (about 3 pounds) or 8 lamb loin chops (4 to 5 ounces each)

1. In the bowl of a medium or regular-sized food processor, combine the garlic, rosemary, parsley, orange zest, tapenade, salt, cumin, and coriander. Process, scraping down sides as necessary, until the garlic and herbs are very finely chopped and the mixture is paste-like.

2. Stop and scrape down the sides, add the olive oil, orange juice, and balsamic vinegar, and process until well-blended.

Susie Middleton

For a boneless leg of lamb:

1. Unfold the lamb and use a sharp knife to score, or make shallow cuts, about every two inches. (You can separate thinner from thicker pieces if you like.)

2. Put the lamb in a large, shallow non-reactive bowl. Add the marinade and turn until coated well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or as long as overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

3. Heat a gas grill by turning two burners to medium/medium-high and one to medium-low. Remove the lamb from the marinade, letting excess oil drip off to help prevent flare-ups. Put the lamb on the hottest part of the grill and cook on one side until nicely seared, 3 to 6 minutes. Flip and do the same on the other side.

4. Move the lamb to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook about 10 to 20 minutes more (depending on the thickness of the meat) and flipping occasionally until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 125 to 130 degrees for medium-rare.

5. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 to 15 minutes before slicing thinly.

For lamb loin chops:

1. Bring the chops to room temperature, pat dry, and season well with salt and pepper. Rub with a little olive oil.

2. Prepare grill as above. Put the chops on the hottest part of the grill, cover, and sear on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear again for about 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Transfer chops to cooler side of grill. Cover and cook for 2 to 4 minutes more (the tiniest cook very quickly), until the chops feel firm but still a bit springy or an instant-read thermometer registers 130 degrees.

4. Let the chops rest 10 to 15 minutes. Serve on a platter with some sauce drizzled over. Pass the remaining sauce. Eat chops with your hands.

This recipe was originally published along with the article A Mutable Feast.