Moroccan-Style Grilled Leg of Lamb with Couscous Salad

  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings


1small onion, chopped
3tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1tablespoon minced garlic
2-- jalapeno or serrano peppers, seeded and minced
3tablespoons sweet paprika
1tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
2teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2teaspoons ground coriander
1teaspoon ground cumin
1/2teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4teaspoon ground allspice
1/4teaspoon ground cloves
1/3cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1-- leg of lamb, deboned and butterflied, untied, about 3 to 3-1/2 pounds
2cups chicken or vegetable broth
4tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1box couscous, prepared according to package directions using the broth above
1/4cup pitted and coarsely chopped oil-cured olives
2-- scallions, minced
2tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
2tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/2-- lemon, zested
-- Freshly ground black pepper
-- Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a food processor, combine the onion, ginger, garlic, jalapeño, paprika, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves and process until smooth. While the motor is running, add 1/3 cup of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and process to combine.
  2. Place the lamb on a clean work surface, skin and fat side down. Rub half of the spice mixture over the lamb, then roll up tightly to form a cylinder shape and tie in 1 1/2-inch increments with butcher's twine. Rub the outside of the lamb with the remaining spice mixture and transfer to a plastic food storage bag just large enough to hold the lamb. Allow lamb to marinate for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Using paper towels, remove as much of the spice rub from the outside of the lamb, then rub the lamb on all sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the lamb to the grill and cook, turning every 15 minutes or so to promote even cooking. Grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the lamb registers 145F for medium-rare, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lamb from the grill and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  4. For the couscous: Heat the broth in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt. When the broth comes to a boil, add the couscous, stir, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover the couscous, fluff with a fork, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, olives, scallions, mint, parsley and lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. For assembly: Cut the butcher's twine away from the lamb and slice into thin slices. Serve the couscous with lemon wedges for guests to add more lemon juice, to taste.