Can you believe that spring is finally here? It sure doesn’t feel like it here in the Northeast, but hey, I’ll take it. This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is Family Springtime Celebrations, and with Easter coming up next weekend (already?) it’s been on my mind.
Half my family is Polish, so on holidays when we’re all together, we usually have some classics like kielbasa and pierogies—usually we’ll put those things out during the cocktail hour unless we’re just doing a buffet. Then it’s like a multi-cultural event.
Since the other side of my family is half Greek, lamb is another holidays essential. As I’ve talked about on the blog before, I grew up enjoying my grandmother’s lamb recipe on holidays like Christmas and Easter. Over the years, I’ve tweaked her recipe slightly to make it a bit lower in calories, and I also like to use olive oil instead of a mix of oil and butter—that way you still get lots of flavor and the benefits of those heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
The end result is a lamb that’s flavorful and filling without being over the top. My favorite way to enjoy it is with a side of greens cooked with lots of garlic and topped off with a generous squeeze of lemon.
- 1 leg of lamb, boneless and butterflied (approximately 3 pounds)*
- 1 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 large onion finely diced (approx. 1.5 cup)
- 16 cloves of garlic finely diced (or more if you like more)
- juice of 6 lemons (approx. 2/3 cup)
- 4 tablespoon dried oregano or 4 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
*note: lamb chops can be substituted, but cooking time is much shorter.
- cooking twine
- roasting pan
- In a saucepan, heat the olive oil, then add the onion and cook until translucent without browning. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds) then add parsley, oregano and lemon. Simmer for a few minutes until parsley is wilted and oregano is infused into the mixture.
- Slather half of the parsley/oregano mixture inside the cavity then tie and secure with the cooking twine. Rub outside with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Put the lamb into a roasting pan. It is not necessary to use a rack. Take half of the remaining mixture and dab on top with a spoon and spread it all over the top and a bit on the sides. Add the other 1/2 of the parsley oregano mixture one half-hour later.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and cook until internal temperature of the lamb is 140 degrees F (15 – 18 minutes per pound). Let the meat sit covered before carving for about 15 minutes. After the resting period, the internal temperature of the meat should reach a safe level of 145ºF. The temperature will go up a bit while resting.
What are your favorite holiday foods?
The Recipe ReDux is a monthly recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians that aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.
This has been another installment of the Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.
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