I’ve unexpectedly found myself hosting Easter lunch this year. I’m in no way, shape or form religious, so I have no expectations of what one should or shouldn’t serve at Easter lunch. (If you are, please do share what you serve in the comments!)
I imagine in the northern hemisphere there would be the whole spring lamb thing happening – given that it’s spring and Easter is about new life and all that. Here in Australia, there are no seasonal lambs springing.
So, I think the best bit about Easter lunch is that I don’t think many people have high expectations. It’s not like Christmas where traditions make everyone argue over who makes the best gravy. Easter lunch is relaxed and nice.
Here are some starter, main dish and dessert options that I thought looked special enough for Easter lunch, but not so special you’d be a slave to the kitchen. We’ll leave that for the end of the year.
Off to a grazing start
Being Italian (not me, my husband and family), we do an antipasto platter at every possible opportunity. I like the idea of adding a decidedly Greek flavour this year with dolmades, kalamata olives and marinated feta in with the sun-dried tomatoes, nuts, seeds, hummus and roasted capsicum.
Of course, right now it’s all about the grazing table. An extension of the antipasto board. A grazing table is all about the styling, so check out this post at Hooray Mag for some top tips for wowing the crowd.
These little vegan falafels by Cook Republic will go down a treat as we sit in the garden waiting for the kids to finish the egg hunt. I’m paranoid about the puppy finding errant chocolate eggs, so we do a scavenger-type hunt with chocolate eggs as a surprise at the end. Much more interesting for the bigger kids too.
Talk about embracing the bounty of the season. Who needs spring lamb when you have crisp pumpkin, leeks and apples in this soup by My New Roots? A soup makes a lot of sense as a starter, too. You can make it ahead and heat when needed.
It’s a mystery why more of us aren’t making our own crackers. It’s amazingly easy and they are so much better than anything from a box. There is immense satisfaction in answering, “Where are these delightful crackers from?” with, “Oh, these crispy, lovely things? I made them myself.” Queue jaw drop. The rosemary crackers from Local is Lovely are divine and pair beautifully with autumn-lovely figs and sweet-tart labne with honey.
On to mains
I like the idea of serving a whole fish for Easter lunch. Salmon seems to be the traditional crowd-pleaser, so we’ll go with this recipe from Donna Hay. The tartness of the picked tomatoes will contrast nicely with the sweet, creamy roast salmon.
A savoury tart of any kind is welcome at Easter lunch. This sliverbeet and Gruyère version sounds scrumptious. Of course, you can fill a tart shell with anything you like, then add the eggy mix and bake as per instructions in this recipe from Gourmet Traveller. Of course, the classic quiche Lorraine is always a favourite.
Because it’s autumn and mushrooms are wonderful (do tell me if you are a mushroom hater, as I like to know the why of these things). Emma’s wholefoods recipes like this one are always so easy to follow and tasty. She proves that vegetarian mains can take on meaty versions any day. Here cookbooks are highly recommended: A Year in My Real Food Kitchen and My Darling Lemon Thyme.
My slow-cooker meals never, ever turn out looking like this pork belly from Eat Well 101. Sigh. Have you ever achieved this level of yum-looking? It’s still very tempting to make Easter lunch in the slow-cooker though… especially as they always taste so good.
The oven does all the work with a dish like this one by Christiann Koepke. Of course, you may already have a favourite roast chicken recipe to bring out and please your guests. You honestly can’t go wrong with a roast chook.
If you’re just not feeling it, you can easily cheat: 21 supermarket chicken recipes
Taking hot cross buns (which seem to be available all year around these days) to a new level makes sense on Easter Sunday. This version by Nadia Lim is chocolate. If you are feeling chocolated out, you could try it in lemon-blueberry, traditional or apricot.
Colomba is panettone’s Easter equivalent. This recipe by Ostro author Emiko Davies is a commitment. But how wonderfully satisfying to make your own colomba. Now that hot cross buns aren’t Easter-special, homebaked colomba can be your new Easter tradition…
Give me all the apples! Give everybody the apples, because they are so good this time of year. Put them into this so-easy galette and everyone is happy.
14. Bee sting cake
We probably don’t really need to know how to make our own bee sting cake – aka the German specialty bienenstich. You know, those cream-puff creamy creamsters from specialist bakeries. Or maybe we do. This recipe from The Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen makes it feel rather achievable.
What’s on your menu for Easter lunch?
Feature image by Kaboom Pics.