A festive spring menu—roast lamb

Leg of Lamb Dinner

Leg of lamb, olive oil mashed potatoes with wilted greens, and glazed carrots, April 2011

For a festive spring get-together or Easter Sunday dinner, leg of lamb is an easy and delicious main dish. This menu features a rosemary, garlic, and salt-rubbed lamb; glazed carrots; and mashed potatoes with wilted dark greens. Add rolls and dessert of your choice to round out the meal.

ROAST LEG OF LAMB WITH GARLIC ROSEMARY RUB
Total time: 2 1/4 hours (active time: 15 minutes; add several hours for rub to flavor meat)
Serves: 4 to 6

1 leg of lamb (3 to 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon coarse salt

In a small bowl combine rosemary, garlic, and salt and rub on all sides of leg of lamb. Cover lamb with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place lamb on the rack of a roasting pan and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue to roast for additional 60 to 90 minutes or until internal temperature reads 145 degrees for rare or 150 degrees for medium. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil. Let rest 10 minutes, covered, before slicing. Temperature will increase during resting. Garnish platter with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

(Adapted from December 2002 issue of Cooking Light.)

PRINTABLE ROAST LAMB RECIPE

OLIVE OIL MASHED POTATOES WITH WILTED DARK GREENS
Total time: 45 minutes (active time: 15 minutes)
Serves: 4 to 6

3 pounds medium red or yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 to 4 pieces each
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Potato cooking water
Salt to taste
2 1/2 ounces dark leafy greens such as baby spinach or arugula

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, reserving about 2 cups of potato cooking water in a heat-safe container, and transfer potatoes to heat-safe bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the emptied-out potato cooking pot over medium high heat. Add the greens and toss until wilted. Remove greens to a cutting board and spread out to cool enough to handle. Chop greens into small pieces.

Mash potatoes with potato masher, mixing in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 cup potato cooking water. Add chopped wilted greens, salt to taste, and additional water for desired consistency, and mash to combine.

(Recipe adapted from “Olive-Oil Mashed Potatoes With Spinach and Basil,” at epicurious.com.)

PRINTABLE MASHED POTATOES RECIPE

GLAZED CARROTS

Total time: 40 minutes (active time: 10 minutes)
Serves: 4 to 6

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
Dash salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to blend. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until carrots are tender and liquid has thickened.

(Recipe adapted from “Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots,” at About.com Southern Food.)

PRINTABLE GLAZED CARROTS RECIPE

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