16 delicious ways to celebrate Easter

Easy hot-cross buns, golden baked ham, juicy lamb, and ideas for a make-ahead brunch

Baked ham

Annabelle Breakey

Elegant Easter

Easter comes just as farmers' markets are crowded with new asparagus, fresh-dug carrots, and the first foraged wild mushrooms. These flavors usher in the new season, and they're the inspiration for our simple, elegant holiday feast.

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Easy Hot Cross Buns

Rob Brodman

Easy Hot Cross Buns

Despite the old rhyme, hot cross buns are no longer one a penny, but a quick shortcut makes them an Easter tradition well worth reviving.

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Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Spring Vegetables

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Spring Vegetables

Hours of cooking on very low heat makes this lamb fall-off-the-bone tender, and a blast of high heat at the end crisps the surface. All you need to round out the dinner are mashed potatoes and a salad.

Recipe: Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Spring Vegetables

Fennel-Crusted Grilled Rack of Lamb

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Fennel-Crusted Grilled Rack of Lamb

Fennel seeds and rosemary perfume every bite of this tenderest of cuts.

Recipe: Fennel-Crusted Grilled Rack of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb with Almond-Mint Pesto

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Roast Leg of Lamb with Almond-Mint Pesto

Mint jelly is traditional with lamb, but not everyone loves its cloying sweetness or garish color. This fresh mint pesto takes a more savory direction, and is rolled up in the lamb to flavor it as it roasts.

Recipe: Roast Leg of Lamb with Almond-Mint Pesto

Juicy spring lamb

James Carrier

Juicy spring lamb

This Portuguese-inspired menu bursts with the spring flavors of fresh vegetables and tender lamb, embellished very simply with garlic, herbs, and olive oil.

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Two-Step Rack of Lamb

James Carrier

Two-Step Rack of Lamb

Marinating the racks before and after browning infuses them with extra flavor; it also minimizes last-minute cooking ― the racks can stand for up to 4 hours, ready to be finished quickly in a hot oven.

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Peas and Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Black Pepper

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Peas and Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Black Pepper

Right before serving, grind fresh pepper straight into the serving bowl—you want that spicy burst mingling with the sweet smell of melting butter.

Recipe: Peas and Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Black Pepper

Flageolet Beans with Fresh Fennel

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Flageolet Beans with Fresh Fennel

Beautiful little flageolet beans are a classic accompaniment for lamb, but you can use pretty much any dried white bean for this recipe.

Recipe: Flageolet Beans with Fresh Fennel

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon

Crisp-tipped, juicy, and tender, these spears are great with lamb or fish. Opt for fat asparagus—the spears will be tender but not mushy when the tips are crisp. Lemon zest, versus juice, gives a lot of flavor without too much acidity or moisture.

Recipe: Grilled Asparagus with Lemon

Butter Lettuce and Egg Salad

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Butter Lettuce and Egg Salad

If you don’t have blooming herbs for this salad—like the fennel flowers and blue borage blossoms we harvested from the Sunset test garden—buy edible flowers like Johnny-jump-ups or nasturtiums at well-stocked grocery stores. Or just skip them; the salad will still look and taste lovely.

Recipe: Butter Lettuce and Egg Salad

Baked Chiles Rellenos

Leo Gong; Styling: Karen Shinto

Baked Chiles Rellenos

So often a supporting player in recipes ― helping cakes rise and thickening sauces, for instance ― eggs get star billing here.

This dish is perfect for a spicy Easter brunch.

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Greek easter baklava

Rachel Weill

Greek Easter

Flaky baklava with a glass of strong coffee is a sweet ending to a classic feast of Greek spring lamb with with herbs and delicious sides.

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Coconut Nest Cookies

Brown Cannon III

Coconut Nest Cookies

You can make these cookies up to 1 week ahead; cover airtight and store at room temperature.

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springbrunch0406

Leigh Beisch

Make-ahead spring brunch

Celebrate Easter with a stress-free menu featuring savory Asparagus and Proscuitto Strata, Black-Currant Scones with Lemon Glaze, and Strawberry-Marmalade salad.

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PicnicMain

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Spring Picnic

Savor the season with a fast and fresh picnic of bright green sugar snap peas, asparagus spears, tiny red potatoes, crisp radishes, giant artichokes, sweet red strawberries.

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http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/easter-recipes-menus-00400000043150/