16 delicious ways to celebrate Easter
Easy hot-cross buns, golden baked ham, juicy lamb, and ideas for a make-ahead brunch
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.
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.
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.
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.
Right before serving, grind fresh pepper straight into the serving bowl—you want that spicy burst mingling with the sweet smell of melting butter.
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
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