While many people celebrate Easter over brunch, my family gathers together for a late lunch/early dinner. Since both Spring and Easter are about rebirth, serve a menu that highlights seasonal ingredients. Start with smashed peas and mint on crisp bruschetta. For the entree, offer guests a juicy leg of lamb roasted with garlic and rosemary and topped with a red wine reduction.
Traditional steamed artichokes get a modern makeover when paired with a quick tarragon mayonnaise. Luxuriously creamy scalloped potatoes with Parmesan cheese and thyme round out the rich holiday menu. To savor these dishes, get the recipes when you
1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Thinly slice half a baguette. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and broil them until they're golden brown (about 1 1/2 minutes per side).
- Process the peas in a food processor until roughly chopped. Stir in the mint, oil, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the mixture on the rounds. Garnish the bruschetta with fresh mint leaves, if desired.
- Appetizers, Crostini
1 (7-pound) semi-boneless leg of lamb, aitchbone removed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick, and lamb tied
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth
- Pat lamb dry and score fat by making shallow cuts all over with tip of a sharp small knife.
- Pound garlic to a paste with sea salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a heavy knife) and stir together with rosemary and pepper. Put lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan, then rub paste all over lamb. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Roast lamb in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into thickest part of meat (do not touch bone) registers 130°F, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 15 to 25 minutes (internal temperature will rise to about 140°F for medium-rare).
- Add wine to pan and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Season pan juices with salt and pepper and serve with lamb.
- Main Dishes, Lamb
6 to 8 artichokes
1/4 cup water
2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Squeeze juice of 1 lemon into a large bowl of cold water.
- Trim stem of 1 artichoke flush with bottom. Snap off outer leaves. Using kitchen shears, cut off tips of remaining leaves. Place in lemon water. Repeat.
- Drain artichokes, and place in a pot in a single snug layer (in batches if necessary). Add 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and steam until tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from pot. Let cool. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, zest and juice remaining lemon. Whisk zest, 2 tablespoons juice, the mayonnaise, tarragon, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Serve alongside artichokes.
Serves 6 to 8.
- Vegetables, Side Dishes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg.
- While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers.
- Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 5 minutes.
- Side Dishes, Potato