Roast Lamb with Mint Pesto and Spring Peas

The roast lamb with the rosemary and garlic is delicious by itself. However when the mint pesto and sautéed peas are served in coordination with the lamb, it is a perfect springtime centerpiece.

A general guideline for roasting boneless legs of lamb is 15 minutes per pound for a rare roast, however a meat thermometer will give you the most accurate assessment of how cooked the roast is. The temperature of the roast should increase about 5 degrees F after you’ve removed it from the oven and it has rested for 20 minutes. Rare is about 135 degrees F after resting, and medium is about 140 degrees F after resting.

Lamb Roast
4 pound boneless leg of lamb
olive oil, for coating lamb
kosher salt, to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Preheat the oven to Roast at 350 degrees F. Rinse and pat dry the leg of lamb. If desired, tie the roast with kitchen string to keep the roast tight and help retain the juices. Coat the lamb with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sear the sides of the lamb roast until browned, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a baking dish and place in the oven (or if your skillet is oven safe you can place the skillet directly into the oven). Roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the roast is 130 degrees F (rare) or 140 degrees F (medium). (It will increase about 5 degrees more while resting). Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for about 20 minutes. Remove the kitchen string if you tied the roast. Slice and serve the lamb roast with the mint pesto and sautéed green peas.
Mint Pesto
8 cups loosely packed mint leaves
¼ cup Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup chopped walnuts
freshly grated lemon zest from 3 medium lemons (about 2 packed tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Combine the mint, parsley, pine nuts, walnuts, lemon zest, and lemon juice, in a food processer and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and sugar and process until smooth or to your desired texture. Season with salt and pepper, pulsing to combine. Serve with the roast lamb and sautéed green peas.
Sautéed Green Peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots, sliced
3 cups shucked fresh green peas (or quality frozen green peas)
kosher salt, to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with the roast lamb and mint pesto.