Grilled leg of lamb with cool mint yogurt sauce

Lamb is one of those versatile proteins that works just as well in the summer as it does winter because its preparation and accompaniments can vary so widely. Grilled and served with fresh herbs and a cool mint and cucumber yogurt sauce, it's a refreshing summer protein that's an easy weeknight (or Sunday, when we most like to cook) dinner, especially if marinated ahead of time.

If you don't love lamb (and I feel you; it took me some time to come around), I'd switch out leg of lamb for the little lamb chops (lollipops). They are tender and less game-y, and they're what converted me to loving lamb. They'll cook much quicker than a butterflied leg (a couple minutes per side is all you'll need), so keep that in mind when grilling. 

Cool mint yogurt sauce

Yields about 1¼ cup
¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 T lemon juice
¼ cup finely grated cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T finely chopped mint (about 6 large leaves)
¼ tsp salt, plus more to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. Cover and store in fridge for up to one day, until ready to serve.

Grilled leg of lamb

Adapted from Epicurious
Yields 4-5 servings
2 lb butterflied leg of lamb
2 tsp salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
3 T lemon juice
⅓ cup olive oil
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T minced garlic
1 tsp Mediterranean oregano
½ T canola oil
Finely chopped mint and parsley (equal parts) for garnish

Place lamb in a vessel for marinating, either a Ziploc bag or baking dish. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper on both sides. In a bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, garlic, and oregano. Whisk to emulsify, and then pour it over lamb. Marinate in the fridge for at least a couple of hours or up to a day, turning occasionally if in a baking dish. Pull from fridge a half hour before cooking to let the meat come to room temperature.

If you're using a grill pan, I'd first preheat oven to 425 degrees to finish it in there. 

If you're using a grill, I'd just cook it entirely on the grill by lightly oiling it, heating it to medium-high, and cooking lamb for about 10-15 minutes per side, or until desired temperature is reached.

So now, for the grill pan: Add canola oil to a cast iron grill pan and heat over high. When the pan is hot, sear lamb until nice grill marks appear, a few minutes per side. 

Transfer grill pan to oven and roast until the desired internal temperature is reached (I prefer 130-135 degrees for just-medium doneness, which should take around 20 minutes, but check it a little sooner than that just in case). 

Let lamb rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly at an angle. Garnish with a handful of finely chopped mint and parsley and serve alongside cool mint yogurt sauce.