All you want to know about raising rabbits for meat

Rabbit Recipes: Grilled rabbit with simple basil pesto

Whether you’re raising your own rabbits for meat or buying your meat from somewhere else, there are nearly limitless ways to cook rabbit. One important thing to keep in mind though, is that slow or fast cooking is the preferred method with rabbit. Many rabbit recipes are stews or braises that you leave in the over or on the stove top for several hours. Rabbit can become tough if not cooked correctly but once you become familiar with more and more rabbit recipes, you’ll start to notice the trend in the cooking times and can throw together dishes with all your own favorite ingredients.

This particular recipe is fairly quick and easy. Make the basil pesto ahead of time to allow the flavors to really blend. You can save it in your fridge for up to a week.

Grilled Rabbit with Simple Basil Pesto

Serves 4


  • 4 legs of rabbit, top bone of the thigh removed (ask your butcher to do this if you’re buying the meat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 very ripe sweet tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 1 small bunch of small-leaf purple basil
  • Simple basil pesto (recipe follows)


  1. Heat grill to high-heat. Rub rabbit legs with  olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. When grill is hot, lay rabbit pieces on the rack and cook without turning for five minutes (rabbit should be well-browned). Turn over and cook for an additional eight minutes. The rabbit pieces should now be cooked through to the bone. Remove and let rest for a few minutes.
  3. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper, drizzle with basil pesto and place cooked rabbit on top. Spoon over a little more pesto, and scatter with purple basil. Serve immediately.

Simple Basil Pesto


  • 3 large bunches of basil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200ml/7fl oz extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Pull basil leaves from their stalks and put them into a food processor with garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Process until the basil is finely chopped.
  2. With the motor still running, very slowly add in the extra-virgin olive oil and continue to blend until you have a smooth, moss-green purée.
  3. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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