Chef Samone Lett
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Atlanta Based Chef, Samone Lett


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. For me it has always meant FAMILY GATHERINGS!

Thanksgiving gives me an opportunity to see family members I don’t see often. When I was growing up Thanksgiving typically meant piling up at one of my aunts’ homes; family and friends would be in and out. Some eating with us while others would grab TO GO containers as they made their rounds visiting other nearby family and friends.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I have to say it’s been bittersweet. For my husband and I, it’s our first year without his mother being part of the Thanksgiving planning. By November 1st she would be calling asking in excitement, “What’s on the menu this year sista?” She was a planner at heart and always wanted to make sure we had enough plates, platters, bowls, flatware and made sure the table setting and decor was perfect!

She was my party girl! You could always count on her to be down for a great party! So Thanksgiving 2018 will be hard without her being part of the festivities and planning process. The most classic of Thanksgiving dishes that we made together as a family, was of course the Turkey and the usual side options you see in everyones’ homes; but for us it was lamb. It’s what made great memories for us and established our bond during the holidays.

I love lamb and introduced it to my husband’s family on our first dinner together and it’s been a hit ever since!

I Want To Share My Memories With You

I believe that recipes are what keep our family history and culture alive. Recipes in my opinion are part of the legacy, in which our families leave behind – to share with others and the world. So in honor of “mom” (because we never used the word “mother-in-law” around her”) this Thanksgiving, I happily share my Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb with Basil Butter recipe. Now although this recipe is specifically for a leg of lamb, you can use this recipe on a rack of lamb, prime rib or another one of your family favorites.

Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb with Basil Butter (Pictured Rack of Lamb)

Servings: 8

Total Time: 1 ½ hr – 2 hrs

Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb with Basil Butter (Pictured Rack of Lamb by Atlanta Chef, Samone Lett)


For the Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb

  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 whole leg of lamb (6–7 lbs) or 1 rack of lamb
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons pepper

Herb Marinade/Paste

  • 1 ½ tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Classico traditional Basil Pesto Sauce and Spread
  • ¼ cup olive oil (If you don’t think this is enough, add a bit more like a tablespoon)
  • Basil Butter – Take tablespoon of fresh basil. Add this to 2-3 tablespoons of Classico traditional Basil Pesto Sauce and Spread. Adding fresh basil enhances the flavors and adds a fresh basil taste to your butter.


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse lamb with 2 teaspoons of lime juice and water.
  2. Place lamb on foil-lined baking sheet; pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Prepare lamb with the first six (6) ingredients, season evenly with salt and pepper then coat with the herb paste. I typically marinate my lamb overnight with the ingredients but you can do it the day of the party.
  4. Season lamb evenly with salt and pepper, then coat with herb paste. Roast 20 minutes at 425°F uncovered.
  5. Reduce heat to 325°F and continue to cook 45–60 more minutes until the internal temperature reaches 130°F for medium rare. Let lamb rest 10–15 minutes before slicing; serve with basil butter.
  6. Prepare tapenade. Chop parsley and assorted olives, place in medium bowl. Stir in oil and vinegar until combined.


Basil Butter

4-5 tablespoons of unsalted butter just a little soft (your finger can dent the top of butter) Mix together with spoon in a bowl. Once mixed, transfer to parchment paper. Place butter in the middle of the parchment paper and roll into a log. Twist the sides of paper then place in the freezer until it is time for dinner. Place this on top of the lamb once it’s out of the oven and leave some on the side for extra.

Looking for a great side?

I have paired this lamb up with my whipped celery root and roasted pear, mashed potatoes, my traditional mac and cheese and savory roasted sweet potatoes and carrots recipe. I have included my savory sweet potato and carrots, outside of the whipped celery root or whipped sweet potatoes this recipe is my favorite pairing with the lamb, it adds a nice and bright color to your plate next to the lamb and a green veggie.


Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

Servings: 8

Total Time: 40- 45 minutes


  • 2LB whole baby carrots, peeled
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 whole heads garlic (I love garlic. If you don’t, then 2 should do just fine)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Mediterranean spiced sea salt (It can be found in local grocery store or Amazon). If you need to add a little more, than please by all means add it, no one likes bland food especially when it comes to veggies!
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh Culantro leaf (In the Caribbean culture this is also known as Shadow Beni. You can find this more in Spanish or Asian supermarkets)
  • ½ tablespoon of Orange Zest


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel carrots. Slice garlic in half, the long way.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes in medium cubes (not too big or the carrots will cook faster and become mushy).
  3. Place sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic on baking sheet. Coat with oil and spiced salt add half of the parsley and Culantro.
  4. Bake 30 minutes, turning halfway, or until sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic are tender. Sprinkle and fold the remaining parsley and Culantro over the sweet potatoes and carrots, add orange zest and serve.

If you are having more than eight guests just double the recipe 😀

When you’re finished making this dish, let’s connect. Share with me your pictures of your final recipe

#HappyThanksGiving #ChefSamone

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