Spring is the perfect season for lamb, and here's the perfect recipe. Eight cloves of garlic might seem like a lot, but the amount doesn't overwhelm; rather, it deepens the sprightly herb flavor.
(The marinade can be prepared a few hours in advance. The lamb needs to marinate at room temperature for one hour or it can marinate in the refrigerator up to overnight.)
Grilled Butterflied Herbed Lamb
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons chopped marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon coarse kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 7- to 8-pound boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and butterflied by the butcher (4 to 4 3/4 pounds boneless)
Combine the garlic, spices and the oil in a small bowl.
Place the lamb on a cutting board and cut 1/2 -inch-deep slits all over it. Rub the herb mixture into the slits and over the lamb. Let the lamb sit at room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate it overnight (then let it sit at room temperature for an hour before grilling).
If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, when the briquettes are ready, distribute them under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil.
Grill the lamb uncovered for about 10 minutes on each side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the thickest part of the meat registers 130 degrees (medium-rare). Transfer to a cutting board.
Cut the lemon in half and seed it. Squeeze the juice over the lamb. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let the meat rest for 15 minutes before cutting into slices.
Serve with any juices that have accumulated.
Per serving: 370 calories, 47g protein, 2g carbohydrates, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 145mg cholesterol, 1,050mg sodium, no dietary fiber or sugar.