We're incredibly lucky to be able to get locally-raised lamb from Sonoma or Napa pretty much year-round. More and more these days, you can find lamb from nearby producers almost anywhere in the country -- ask your local butcher. If you can't, try to find responsibly-raised, grass-fed or organic lamb from purveyors like Emigh Lamb in California or Coulter Farms in Pennsylvania.
1 3-5 pound boneless leg of lamb, rolled and tied or 1 6-8 pound bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed and tied.
12 oz pitted "neutral" black olives (not overly salted/cured or spiced) -- I used "Bella de Cerignola
which are excellent, but you can even use canned/pitted olives, though they're not quite as flavorful
2 Tablespoons dried lavender flowers (you can get it at gourmet spice shops) or you can use any lavender that’s designed for cooking…
1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
3 large cloves of garlic
4-6 Tablespoons good olive oil -- I use a mild, buttery/nutty-tasting extra virgin olive oil from a local producer, but anything that isn't to sharp or grassy tasting will do
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 310F or set up your charcoal grill/smoker for 310F or medium/indirect heat. (If using a smoker or, if you have a smoker attachment for your grill, a small handful of almond, pecan or fruitwood chips added during the first hour lends an additional and lovely note.)
1) about an-hour-and-a-half before you want to start roasting, carefully cut slits into the skin of the lamb with the tip of a small sharp knife (every half inch or so and just deep enough to get a little bit into the meat below the fat (1/4 -1/2 inch) and about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and leave on the counter to "temper" (warm slightly), which helps the meat cook more gently and evenly and prevents over-cooking.
2) Combine all other ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and blend, adding olive oil a little at a time until it forms a smooth but very-slightly grainy paste
3) rub about 2 Tablespoons/pound of the olive paste all over the lamb and massage well to get it into the slits and cover the roast on all sides. A little extra thickness of coating -- 1/8-1/4 inch -- is fine and even kind of nice it adds both a crusty-element and helps keep the meat below moist.
4) sprinkle the outside with a little extra kosher salt and even a little extra lavender if you want…
5) place roast at this temperature for about 2 1/2 hours until a meat thermometer inserted to the thick part of the roast reads 120F. Take out and let rest for 15 minutes
Optional — while it’s resting, raise the oven temp to 425F. Return lamb to hot oven for 8-10 more minutes to crisp the crust. Slice and serve with your favorite side dishes and a full bodied red like Longtable "The Gathering"