Her go-to preparation features hand-ground anchovy-herb paste.
But don’t worry: the anchovies don’t come across as tasting fishy. They simply add a salty, savory flavor that beautifully blends with the distinctive-tasting lamb meat.
Colleen Taugher, co-owner of the 85-acre Mellifera Farm in Troy, Idaho, and recently retired director for global research and engagement in the Office of International Programs at Washington State University Pullman, typically makes the paste with rosemary.
That’s how she prepared it when she served her farm-raised Iceland lamb to a delegation of 18 student journalists from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. They were visiting WSU in summer 2019 through the U.S. Department of State’s Study of U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders from Europe program. Taugher helped coordinate the WSU stay, designed to help foster greater international understanding of the importance of free speech and a free press.
The Friday-night cook-out at her farm was one of the program’s scheduled social activities. And her grilled lamb got rave reviews from the students.
But, Taugher says, “You could substitute mint. It would be really good, too.”
Here, at the request of Washington State Magazine, she adapts her regular recipe to feature mint.
Anchovy paste with rosemary and mint for lamb
From Colleen Taugher
Lamb with anchovy paste is a classic Italian preparation.
6 to 8 cloves garlic
12 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and patted dry
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
⅓ cup fresh mint, or a combination of fresh mint and fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Use paste to marinate lamb, loosely covered, at room temperature for 1 hour.
Note: Lamb can be marinated, covered, and chilled up to 5 hours; bring to room temperature about 1 hour before roasting. Also, Taugher typically makes this recipe with ½ cup of fresh rosemary, but recommends home cooks experiment with combinations of fresh herbs to find the flavors they best prefer.