Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I have such fond memories of being a kid, watching my dad dye Easter eggs, the way his mother taught him when he was young in their little Egyptian village - with simmering pots filled with the natural dye of beets, onion peels, turmeric and bay leaves. After the eggs were dyed, then came the hunt, my favorite part of the day. This little ritual tapped into something deep and primal in me. It felt as if I was born to do this. My father, a minister, would often say, Seek and ye shall find, and then off I went. He hid them well and I relished in the challenge. There's nothing quite as satisfying as finding that which eludes us, especially if it has eluded us for a very long time. It was not uncommon to find eggs hidden on our hillside, months later. Growing up, it was not the traditional Easter ham my parents would have roasting in the oven, but instead, to some of my friends horror, leg of lamb. Yep, those sweet little babies. By the time I fully understood what I was eating, it was too late, I acquired the taste for it early on. To this day, the smell of lamb wafting through the house, brings me back to those happy times together as a family.
This leg of lamb recipe is tender and moist on the inside, with a flavorful savory herb crust. It can be made ahead, and placed in the oven right before Easter dinner. It starts with a boneless leg of lamb that has been butterflied. A savory paste of herbs - rosemary, sage, or thyme, blended with garlic cloves, salt and olive oil, is rubbed all over the inside of the leg, and then it's rolled up and tied together with cooking twine. The savory herb mixture is then rubbed all over the outside, to create that delicious crust. In the oven it goes, over a bed of roasting vegetables, for about one hour. After its cooked to your desired temperature, let it rest a good 20 minutes, then slice it thinly. Spoon the tasty mint-caper sauce over top and serve it with the roasted veggies. And the leftovers make delicious lamb sandwiches.