One night last September, my husband and I had dinner at our friends' Deb and Paul's house. Paul had marinated a butterflied leg of lamb to grill on their rooftop patio, and he headed out there well after dark. The fall's earlier sundowns have never stopped people from grilling, but grilling in the dark usually involves a jury-rigged move with flashlights. Paul, an excellent cook, has come up with a nifty solution: he wears a camping headlamp from L.L.Bean. Nerdy, you say? I think not, after tasting his perfectly grilled lamb. (photo by Deborah Copaken Kogan) —Amanda Hesser
In the morning, cut the lamb into 8 manageable pieces. Trim off excess fat (not all of it) and pat dry with paper towels. Lay the lamb in a roasting pan or large baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic and rosemary with 1/4 cup olive oil. Make small incisions in the lamb pieces and push in the garlic and rosemary. Rub the lamb with more olive oil, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours and up to 10 hours. Take the lamb out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before grilling.
Heat the grill to medium high, then lower it to medium. Lay the lamb pieces on the grill and cook for 7 to 10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the meat, for medium rare. If grilling at night, use headlamp to check grilling progress! Remove the lamb pieces as they finish cooking and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with any juices that collect at the bottom of the dish.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.