Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Roasted salt marsh lamb leg, crispy artichokes, anchovy and wild garlic pesto

Prep time over 2 hours
Cook time over 2 hours
Serves 4-6
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
Salt marsh lamb has a distinctive flavour and is especially tender, but regular lamb would also work well.


  1. For the roasted salt march lamb leg, rub the lamb with the chopped garlic, chilli, anchovies, mint and chopped chilli and place in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the lemon zest and juice. Pour over the extra virgin olive oil and rub all over the meat. Leave to marinate for 2-3 hours turning once or twice.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  3. Place a heavy oven tray on the hob over a medium heat. Fry the lamb all over to colour and caramelize.

  4. Place in the oven for around 40-50 minutes, or until just cooked through and still a little pink. Remove and rest for 10 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, heat a deep-fat fryer to 170C/340F.

  6. Slice the artichokes into 3-4 slices each and dry thoroughly. Fry the artichokes for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Drain well and season with salt and pepper.

  7. For the pesto, put all the ingredients in a blender except the oil. Pulse to blend. With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a thin steady stream until you have a thick-ish green sauce that isn’t too smooth. Season well with salt, pepper and some lemon juice.

  8. Serve the lamb, thickly sliced with the pesto and artichokes on the side.


  • 2kg/4lb 8oz lamb leg (on the bone), skin intact and scored
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 salted anchovies, finely chopped
  • 4 mint sprigs, leaves and stalks chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 250ml/9fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 8 baby violet artichokes, trimmed, thorny outer leaves removed, put into acidulated water
  • olive oil, for frying

For the pesto

  • 1 small bunch flatleaf parsley, washed and dried
  • 2 handfuls wild garlic leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 salted anchovies
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 20-30g/½-1oz parmesan, grated
  • 2 tsp Moscatel vinegar
  • 150-200ml/5½-7fl oz rapeseed oil

To serve

  • sea salt and pepper
  • lemon juice, to taste

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