I know, I know, Easter was almost a month ago. Let me tell you, hosting Easter and moving at the same time do not mix. I got so caught up with moving, setting up our new place, unpacking box after box, that it is only now that I have had the time to write another post. I have been promising you guys my recipes from Easter, and here they finally are!! I love Easter food, and I loved being able to create some new traditions this year.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good old ham, scalloped potatoes, steamed asparagus and rolls. In fact, I’m salivating at the very notion of all that food right now. That menu is very close to what I made last year and it was delicious. But, this year when I was asked to host Easter dinner, I thought, how fun would it be to do something totally different? With the help of some fellow bloggers’ recipes and creating some new favorites, I have a fantastic menu for you to draw from!Citrus & Herb Marinated Olives
Roasted Potatoes with Turmeric & Saffron
Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter & Thyme
Quinoa Spinach Salad with Apricots
Leg of Lamb with Rosemary & Garlic and Harissa Yogurt Sauce Whole Orange Cake with Strawberries
First, start off your delicious meal with some marinated olives and flatbread. You could even get some hummus and/or baba ganoush for dipping if you wanted. These olives have changed my whole outlook on olives and I love them. Before these, I had really only tried the black ones out of the can and kalamatas. While those are tasty, these are out of this world. Plus they are super easy!
Citrus & Herb Marinated Olives
Adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed from the stem
Peel of half a lemon, cut into thin strips Peel of half an orange, cut into thin strips 2 cups mixed olives (The antipasto bar at your local market is a great place to get a variety of olives!)
1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
1. In a medium saucepan, heat everything except the olives until warm. The goal is to infuse the olive oil with all the flavor from the herbs and citrus.
2. When oil is very warm, and herbs and garlic are fragrant, add the olives and stir to coat. Heat olives for 3-5 minutes. Take off heat.
3. Serve at warm temperature with oil drizzled over olives, or cool and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1-3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Large dice potatoes (make sure to make the chunks roughly the same size so they cook evenly!) and place in glass 9×13 baking dish. Generously drizzle with olive oil.
3. Sprinkle potatoes with turmeric, paprika, saffron and salt and pepper. Gently stir potatoes to coat.
4. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter & Thyme1/2 pound carrots, washed and scrubbed, sliced on a bias 2 T. honey 1/2 stick butter 5 sprigs fresh thyme Salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter and add honey. Stir to combine.
3. Place carrots in baking dish and drizzle with honey butter mixture. Strip thyme sprigs of leaves and sprinkle them over the carrots. Add salt to taste and stir carrots to coat.
4. Roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until carrots can be easily pierced with a fork but aren’t mushy!
Quinoa Spinach Salad with Apricots
The quinoa salad was a huge hit and I have Eating Well to thank for the recipe. I didn’t change anything because it sounded so good and it turned out perfectly!
Leg of Lamb with Rosemary & Garlic
A big thank you goes to Bill the Butcher in Magnolia for helping me choose which cut of meat would be best for my Easter get together. They are always so helpful whenever I go there (as is the staff at every Bill the Butcher I’ve been to) and I love getting food that is REAL food and doesn’t come with antibiotics or hormones and other chemicals. Cheers to natural food!
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub lamb all over with salt rub and let come to room temperature.
2. Place lamb fatty side up. With kitchen scissors, cut slits all over the top of the lamb and insert slivers of garlic and small sprigs of rosemary.
3. Roast for 3 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the lamb reads 175-180 degrees.
4. Let lamb rest for 10 minutes under some foil. Remove sprigs of rosemary before serving. Slice lamb and arrange on a serving platter, garnish with fresh rosemary if desired.
Harissa Yogurt Sauce1 cup plain greek yogurt harissa spread or paste, to taste
1. How to make this sauce is really dependent on how spicy you like your food. I LOVE spicy, so I went a little heavy on the harissa. Start out with a tablespoon or so. If it ends up being too hot, you can always add more yogurt and if you want more spice, just add more harissa! Just mix the two together! It’s that simple.
Whole Orange Cake with Strawberries
I found this recipe on an awesome blog called The View from Great Island. You should all check it out! The recipes all sound amazing. I made a couple changes, but if you want the original recipe, just visit the blog.Adapted from The View from Great Island http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2012/11/minimal-monday-flourless-whole-tangerine-cake-gluten-free.html 2 large oranges (to make about a cup of puree)
1 cup sugar
3 cups almond meal or almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, more if you like your whipped cream sweeter 2 cups macerated strawberries
1. Wash your oranges and put them in a large saucepan covered with cold water. Boil for 15 minutes. Drain the pan, refill with cold water, and boil again for 15 minutes. This step is supposed to remove the bitterness of the pith. You can also do this step ahead of time if you wish.
2. Chop the oranges and remove any seeds, being sure not to lose any of the juice! Put oranges and any juices in a food processor, stopping to scrape down the sides when needed. I ended up having extra puree, so make sure to measure out 1 cup of puree for the cake, and save the rest for another cake or something else! Set aside, and refrigerate the extra.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Fold in the almond meal, orange pulp, and baking powder, mixing until combined. Pour into a buttered 9″ spring form pan (I also lined mine with parchment paper….just in case).
4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to finish cooling.
5. To make whipped cream topping, pour heavy whipping cream into a stand mixer (or use a handheld mixer) and using the whisk attachment, whisk for a few minutes or until it starts to thicken. Add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar and keep whisking until you have soft peaks.
6. Just before serving, top cake with whipped cream and macerated strawberries.
I also had fun creating some decorations for my table. I really wanted to use a bunch of Moroccan lanterns and tea cups for my candles and flowers, but if you’ve ever looked up the the price for those, you’d know that they can get a little spendy. I had a blast creating my own Moroccan lanterns following this tutorial I found on Pinterest. Here is the end result!
You literally just paint the inside of the jar with some glass paint and paint whatever design you want on the outside with some gold puff paint. Use them as candle holders or vases for you beautiful flower arrangements! Thank you Ballard Dakota Art for all your help in selecting the right kinds of paint.
These lanterns were super easy to make and definitely an inexpensive alternative to actual Moroccan lanterns. I bought three glass cylinders from Value Village. They were all the same diameter but different heights. I then bought some pre-punched paper on Amazon, cut it to size and taped it onto the candle holders. I think I spent about $10 total to make three of these guys. Everyone kept asking me where I got them and they were so surprised when I sheepishly told them that I made them!
I hope that this post inspires you to try some new foods, and maybe experiment a little more in the kitchen!