Leg of Lamb with Nettles & Goat’s Cheese Pesto


You can serve 6-8 people with a leg of lamb.


For the Leg of Lamb

  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 100 ml (approx. 3 fl oz/½ cup) olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 leg of lamb, deboned: approx.
  • 1 kg (2 lb) or with bone: approx. 1.5 kg (3 lb)

For the Pesto

  • 2 handfuls or approx. 75 g ( oz) young nettle tops (or rocket [arugula] salad if you are not such a nature person)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100 ml (approx. 3 fl oz/½ cup) olive oil
  • 100 g (4 oz/1 cup) grated aged goat’s cheese (or pecorino)
  • 60 g (2 oz/½ cup) walnuts, if desired


Coarsely chop the garlic. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Blend the mixture. Also add the stripped thyme sprigs. Massage the marinade into the meat, cover and leave the meat to marinate in the refrigerator preferably one night, but at least 2 hours. Allow the lamb to reach room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Remove the herbs from the lamb and roast for 35–40 minutes until medium rare. A leg of lamb with bone will have to bake a little longer, say, 40–45 minutes. Leave the meat to rest under a sheet of aluminium foil for 15 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the pesto. Pulse the ingredients in the food processor into a coarse pesto, not too fine. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Cut the lamb into thin slices. Serve with nettle pesto and boiled young potatoes.

Great with lukewarm green vegetable salad.