Serves: 4
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus overnight marinating and making the potatoes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Winter will soon be a distant memory (we hope) and as the buds begin to appear on the trees and the skies become that little bit brighter, there’s a definite hint of spring in the air − which, for us foodies, means one thing: spring lamb. Beautiful, sweet, tender lamb is a joy this time of year – and a hint of pungent garlic goes beautifully with it. But adding lavender will give this seasonal classic a whole new, fragrant twist. Just remember not to add too much as it can make the dish bitter, and use the flowers only, no stalks! Perfect for Sunday lunch or to serve to family and friends at Easter, this recipe comes courtesy of Daniel Galmiche, who, having picked some lavender from the huge swathes of mauve he saw while on holiday in Provence, decided to invent this dish.


  • 1.5kg leg of lamb
  • 1 garlic bulb, unpeeled and halved horizontally
  • 8 lavender sprigs, flower heads only
  • 150ml cup olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 shallots, unpeeled and halved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1You need to prepare this dish the day before you want to eat it.

2Put the lamb in a clingfilm-lined roasting tin that fits in the fridge and season with black pepper. (Don’t season with salt now, as it draws the blood out of the lamb. Salt is always added just before cooking meat.) Add the garlic bulb and 6 heads of the lavender and pour 90ml of the oil over the top. Rub the seasonings in thoroughly, then wrap the lamb in the clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.

3Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.

4Unwrap the lamb, put it back in the roasting tin with the garlic bulb and dab it with kitchen towel. Pierce it several times with a sharp knife and push a halved garlic clove inside each opening. Add the shallots to the pan, pour the remaining oil over the top, season with salt and pepper and then roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour until golden brown on the outside but still pink and moist inside. Remove the lamb from the tin and wrap it in foil to keep warm.

5Put 100ml water in the roasting tin to deglaze, then return it to the oven and cook for 3–4 minutes until reduced. This will gather all the flavours from the caramelization of the meat and give you the concentrated juice you need.

6Unwrap the lamb. You will find some juice has also gathered in the foil – add it to the juice in the roasting tin, stir and set aside. Slice the lamb, then drizzle it with the juice, sprinkle with the remaining lavender flowers and serve with sautéed potatoes.

Chef’s tip

While lavender is a stunning match with the lamb, this dish can be made with more traditional herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, or any other herbs of your choice, to create your personal twist.

Excerpt from the book French Brasserie by Daniel Galmiche

Originally published on our sister site, FrenchEntrée


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