Leg of Lamb With Black Olive Puree — Try It With Cabernet!

roasted lamb legCabernet Sauvignon can sometimes be challenging to pair with food, especially younger renditions with tannins that have not had time to subside. As the king of red wines, it seemingly demands attention, as if to say, “You will pay attention only to me. What’s that food doing over there?”

But the right food, prepared the right way, can be an exceptional pairing partner for Cabernet Sauvignon, including the selections featured in this Vinesse sampler. Leg of Lamb With Black Olive Puree is a tasty alternative to beef when it’s time to fire up the grill, and pairs well not only with Cabernet Sauvignon, but also Syrah and Malbec. The recipe that follows yields 8 servings.



  • 1 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, rosemary and thyme
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste
  • 4.5-lb. leg of lamb, butterflied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, seeded


  1. Chop the olives until paste-like.
  1. Whisk in half of the olive oil and 1 Tbs. of the herbs.
  1. In a small bowl, combine remaining herbs and oil with the garlic.
  1. Rub the herb and garlic marinade all over the lamb, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.
  1. When ready to grill, prepare a medium (375 degrees) charcoal or gas grill fire.
  1. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper.
  1. Grill the lamb, flipping once, until the thickest part is 120 degrees for medium rare (15 to 18 minutes).
  1. Transfer lamb to a cutting board, squeeze the lemon half over it, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  1. Thinly slice the lamb across the grain, drizzle any accumulated juice over it, and serve with olive purée.
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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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