A Food & Wine Inspired Easter Dinner: Grilled Leg of Lamb, Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus, and Cannellini & Green Bean Salad

My mom visited us in the Berkshires for Easter.  I decided to turn to Food & Wine for culinary inspiration!  We had a grilled leg of lamb, pancetta-wrapped asparagus cooked on the grill, and a cannellini & green bean salad.

Typically when we grill leg of lamb I have the butcher butterfly it but this recipe had you grill the whole leg.  The lamb was simply — but deliciously — seasoned with garlic, rosemary, olive oil and salt & pepper.  Thanks to Tim’s barbecue skills, the lamb turned out perfectly!

I’ve made this asparagus dish before and loved it so decided to make it again.  You wrap the asparagus in pancetta and cook either on a grill or grill pan.  The pancetta gets crispy, providing a great texture and smokey flavor.

Lastly, we had a cannellini and green bean salad.  I used canned white beans, avoiding the extra prep time that dried beans would have required.  I used haricot vert rather than typical string beans.  I also cooked some of the extra asparagus I had on hand along with the haricot vert.  The dressing, comprised of kalamata olives, lemon juice, olive oil, and cilantro, provided a wonderful freshness to the salad.  I really enjoyed this dish and think it will become a staple side dish for summer barbecues.

Overall, a delicious Easter meal!

Grilled Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
Food & Wine

  • One 4- to 5-pound boneless leg of lamb, not butterflied
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Spread the lamb on a work surface. With a boning or paring knife, cut between the muscles and separate them using your fingers. Trim away any excess fat and gristle.

In a large, shallow dish, combine the olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Add the lamb and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 4 hours, turning a few times.

Light a grill. Season the lamb with salt and pepper; do not scrape off the garlic or rosemary. Grill the lamb over a hot fire, turning often, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in each piece registers 125° to 130° for medium-rare. The times will vary according to the size and shape of the lamb leg, anywhere from 8 minutes for a 6-ounce piece to 20 minutes for a 1 1/2-pound piece. Transfer the lamb to a carving board as each one is done, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.

Thinly slice the lamb and serve.

Serves 6 to 8.
Leg Of Lamb on Foodista

Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette
Food & Wine

  • 2 pounds medium asparagus
  • 1/2 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme

Tightly wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, stir the orange zest and juice with the mustard and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus over moderate heat, turning often, until they are just tender and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve.

Make Ahead: The uncooked pancetta-wrapped asparagus can be covered and refrigerated overnight.

Cannellini-and-Green Bean Salad
Adapted from Food & Wine

  • 1 14 oz. can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3/4 pound green beans
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (2 1/2 ounces), chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the green beans until they are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well and spread out on a baking sheet to cool. Pat the beans dry with paper towels. Cut the beans on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro and olives and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the cannellini beans and green beans and season with salt and pepper.

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