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For one of Craig Claiborne's parties in the mid-1970s, Edward prepared, a whole grilled lamb. He hit upon an ingenious sauce to serve beside it—mint pesto. Martha Stewart, who attended and tasted the sauce, published a similar recipe as her own innovation. Edward has been annoyed with her ever since. Indeed, when the now-defunct Martha  Stewart Living television show asked him to be a guest, he declined. "But don't you want the exposure?" asked an incredulous coordinator for the show. "At my age," responded Edward, "it would be indecent to expose myself."
Italian Family Dining by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi
Serves 8


    • 1 leg of spring lamb, boned (about 8 lbs bone-in, and about 4½ pounds without bones)
    • 6 garlic cloves, slivered
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 2 tablespoons crushed dried rosemary
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the pesto

    • 2 cups packed mint leaves (preferably spearmint)
    • 1/3 cup warm chicken stock
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup walnuts
    • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
    • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
    • Salt


Cut the meat into two sections for easier handling. Cut thin gashes in the meat and insert the garlic slivers. Place the meat in a large nonreactive pan. Pour the wine over the meat, rub in the rosemary, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the meat for 2 hours. In the meantime, prepare your grill.

Remove  the meat from the marinade and grill it on a hot grill for about 15 minutes on each side, turning often. Remove the meat from the grill and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes. Slice the lamb on a bias, against the grain of the meat.

For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the mint, stock, oil, walnuts, cheese, garlic, and salt to taste. Pulse to create a smooth puree.

Serve the pesto beside the sliced grilled lamb.


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