Basil Vinaigrette for Roast Lamb

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    ¾ cup

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

In this recipe a jus prepared from a roast leg, rack, saddle, or shoulder of lamb is finished as a basil-flavored vinaigrette. The resulting sauce may be served hot or cold. The recipe can be adapted by using roasting juices from other meats, different herbs, and various oils.

Because the only emulsifier is basil, a blender is used to quickly homogenize the mixture. Because the flavor of extra-virgin olive oil is compromised by the action of the blender, pure olive oil (which is virtually flavorless) is puréed in a blender first and then extra-virgin olive oil is whisked in by hand. It is also possible to omit the oils completely. For a more stable version, see the variation that follows, which features xanthan gum and Ultra-Sperse 3 to prevent syneresis.


full-flavored lamb roasting juices, hot ¼ cup 60 ml
wine vinegar 3 tbsp 45 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste
leaves from 1 small bunch basil or parsley 1 1
pure olive oil 2 tbsp 30 ml
extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp 30 ml


  1. Combine the roasting juices, vinegar, salt and pepper, and basil leaves and blend with an immersion blender or rotor stator homogenizer for 15 to 20 seconds, until the basil is finely chopped and a creamy emulsion is formed.
  2. Pour the pure olive oil into the mixture in a steady stream while blending.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon to stir in the extra-virgin olive oil by hand.
  4. Taste the sauce to see whether it needs additional vinegar or oil. Adjust the seasonings.


To make a stabilized version, add 0.8 gram xanthan gum and 2 grams Ultra-Sperse 3 to the hot roasting juices and vinegar along with the salt, pepper, and basil, and blend as directed.