Robert Thompson's Leg of Lamb with Beetroot and Salsa Verde

Dish type: Lamb

Lamb is still in season, and Robert Thompson’s fantastic recipe is both easy to make and a delight on the eyes.

Serves 6
Cooking time: 1 hr 30 minutes plus marinating time


1 leg of lamb, boneless
5 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs rosemary
Olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons

Roasted beetroot
12 beetroots
Olive oil
Sea salt

Salsa verde
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stalks removed
1 bunch mint, stalks removed
1 bunch basil, stalks removed
35g capers
50g anchovy
Red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Black pepper


1. Prepare the leg of lamb by slicing off each of the main muscles into 2cm thick slices. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves and rosemary and cover the slices of lamb. Leave to marinate for 1-2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6. Wash and dry the beetroots before chopping them into even-sized chunks. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with a touch of olive oil and pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour, or until a knife goes through easily

3. Next make the salsa verde. Place the mint, parsley, basil, capers, mustard and anchovies together in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a splash red wine vinegar and then olive oil and lemon juice, making sure you don’t add too much in order to keep the salsa fairly thick. Add seasoning, but make sure you don’t add too much salt as the capers and anchovies will already contain a fair amount.

4. Heat a large griddle (ridged) pan until smoking hot. Drain the slices of lamb and pat dry before chargrilling on each side for 2-3 minutes, or slightly longer if you prefer your meat well done. Transfer the lamb to another tray and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving

5. Reheat the beetroots in the oven for a couple of minutes and serve with the lamb and salsa verde.

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