Easter is a fantastic time to gather friends and family for a big celebration meal, without the pressure of Christmas hosting! Plus, British spring time heralds the arrival of some fantastic ingredients – including asparagus, garden greens such as spinach, rhubarb and lamb. And of course, eggs and chocolate play a significant part in the classic Easter menu.
What’s a traditional Easter dinner menu?
In the UK, it’s traditional to eat roast lamb or roast chicken on Easter Sunday. However, there is some debate over whether lamb should be eaten so early in the year, as the animals that are ready to eat in April will have been raised indoors over the winter. A great alternative is hogget or mutton, which will have had a good life outdoors before going to slaughter. Other classic Easter dishes might include salmon, asparagus, and new potatoes.
Here are 5 Easter recipes that cater for the main event, a special breakfast, and party canapes, plus we’ve thrown in an idea for elegant sweet treats you can give to friends, or serve after dinner. So celebrate the season and update your classic Easter repertoire with these tasty ideas.
Is ham a traditional Easter dinner?
While lamb might be the classic choice for an Easter feast in the UK, ham is more popular in America. This is thought to originate from the time before fridges, when animals were slaughtered in the autumn and the meat was cured. So traditionally, Easter is the perfect time to eat the meat that has been prepared before Christmas.
Update your traditional Easter roast, and flavour a leg of lamb with beautifully herby za'atar. The classic Middle Eastern spicing is enhanced by barbecuing the lamb. It’s a winning combination of smoky, sweet, earthy and warming flavours.
You can buy a whole leg of lamb and cut out the bone yourself, or just ask your butcher to do it for you. The yogurt helps to tenderise the lamb – if you have time, it is best left to marinate overnight.
Push the boat out, and give someone you love a homemade Easter egg! It’s far easier than you might think to create your own chocolate egg, and totally worth the extra effort.
Customise the eggs by decorating and flavouring the surface of your moulds with caramel, freeze-dried raspberry powder, or even chilli flakes and salt. Fill one side of the chocolate shell with treats before sticking the two halves of the chocolate egg together. Or even pipe in a rich ganache for the ultimate indulgence.
Make Easter morning special with a twist on the classic eggs Benedict, using spicy Calabrian sausage nduja. The rich creamy egg yolks, cured ham and wholesome spinach are the ultimate match for fiery, buttery nduja hollandaise. Or put am extra spring-time twist on the plate, and serve with gently steamed asparagus. Truly the breakfast of champions!
For Easter eggs with real bling! These charming little quails eggs look incredibly piled high in a mountain in the centre of your table. And the smoky flavour in the edible gold shimmer really brings the delicate eggs to life. Serve with delicate curls of smoked salmon for a decadent start to your Easter Sunday feast. And if you’re really feeling ambitious you could smoke your own salmon!
These rose-infused truffles are the perfect end to a dinner party, and also make lovely gifts, presented in a cardboard box with a pretty ribbon. The pink shimmery effect comes from grinding rose petals with a little sugar, which is dusted over the truffles. There’s also rose in the ganache middles, which gives the dark chocolate a gentle hint of fragrance. Once you’ve mastered the techniques, you could experiment with other flavours, such as passion fruit or violet.
Fish is often eaten on Good Friday, but a whole sea bass also makes a beautiful centrepiece on Easter Sunday. Wheel the BBQ out of its winter retirement and put a Chinese twist on your recipe, with spring onions, ginger and goji berries.
Push the boat out and make a dramatic tower of profiteroles for the Easter table! To make this croquembouche extra celebratory we've sprayed it with edible gold spray. It’s best to serve your croquembouche within 5 hours of assembling it for lovely crisp pastry.
If roast chicken is your go-to dish, then why not stretch your wings and try a Chinese clay-pot chicken. Just like a roast, the joy of clay pot chicken is the ease of popping everything in one dish inside the oven – no stirring, no reducing, no fussing. You could also try a traditional Chinese hot pot.
The bright green of pistachio is fantastic at this time of year in bakes and tarts. Try pairing the earthiness of pistachio flour and ground almonds with whole freeze-dried cherries. The contrast of bitter, tart sweetness is delicious at the end of decadent meal.
Wild garlic is a fantastic spring ingredient, which grows in woodlands all across the UK. The pointed green leaves have a more delicate, onion flavour than bulb garlic and taste fantastic with spicy Calabrian salami. This pasta dish is a quick but impactful recipe – a good choice after a busy weekend of entertaining!