Rolled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Preserved Lemons


The lamb needs to marinate overnight, so prepare it the day before. Preserved lemons have been stored in jars of lemon juice and salt for at least a month. They have a silkier texture and a less sour flavor than regular lemons.


  • 2 whole preserved lemons, rinsed

  • ½ cup chopped fresh rosemary

  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 boneless butterflied leg of lamb, about 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and pounded to 1 inch thick

  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Cut 1 preserved lemon in half; remove and discard seeds. Coarsely chop lemon; transfer to a food processor. Add rosemary, mint, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Process until coarsely ground. With processor running, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; process until a thick paste forms.

  2. Spread herb mixture all over lamb; transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours (or overnight).

  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cut remaining preserved lemon into paper-thin rounds; discard seeds. Arrange rounds over one side of lamb. Starting from one narrow end, roll up lamb. Using kitchen twine, tie lamb crosswise at 1-inch intervals. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Transfer lamb to a roasting pan just large enough to hold it. Roast 25 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water to pan; reduce heat to 400 degrees. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 120 degrees (for medium-rare), about 35 minutes.

  5. Tent with foil. Let rest 25 minutes (internal temperature will rise). Transfer to a cutting board; remove twine. Cut into thin slices. Serve with lemon wedges.

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