Leg of Lamb with Figs and Lemons

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| Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 leg of lamb five to six pounds
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 4 or 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 12 ripe black figs
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cut dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup cream or crème fraiche


  1. Rinse lamb and pat dry. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set in a shallow 10 by 15 pan. Pat thyme all over the meat and lay rosemary sprigs on top.
  2. Rinse figs and lemons. Cut figs in half lengthwise and lay cut side up around lamb. Trim off and discard ends of lemon and thinly slice lemons crosswise and discard seeds. Scatter slices over and around figs. Pour about ½ cup wine and the vinegar into the pan and sprinkle the fruit with sugar.
  3. Bake at 400º until thermometer inserted through thickest part of the meat reaches 130°. Or about 1 ½ hours. As liquid evaporates add more wine to the pan to prevent scorching. Turn fruit gently. The edges of the pieces should get dark but if the fruit starts to scorch remove from the pan.
  4. Transfer roast and fruit to a platter and keep warm. Discard rosemary and add enough broth to the pan to make about ¾ cup juices total. Add cream and bring to a rolling boil and stir to release the browned bits. Serve in a pitcher aside the sliced lamb.

Comments: When roasted with tender local lamb, figs and lemons make a wonderful marriage. The heat caramelizes the figs while the thin lemon slices add enough tang to stave off insipid sweetness.


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