Perhaps even more than Christmas, Easter is fundamentally about celebration and indulgence.
After weeks of resisting your temptations over Lent, Easter lets you finally let go – and the four-day weekend helps a bit with that too.
For many people, Easter weekend means spending time with families and loved-ones – some of whom, perhaps, you might not have seen since the Christmas-New Year break. So it’s the perfect time to try out some new and delicious recipes: we’ve picked out some tantalising recipes for a memorable four-course Easter dinner.
An eggy starter
If there’s ingredient that’s synonymous with Easter, it’s eggs. Chocolate easter eggs may be ubiquitous in supermarkets, but the regular kind makes a perfect starter ingredient.
Jamie Oliver’s recipe for super eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise is the perfect way to celebrate the ingredient and whet your appetite. Feel free to omit the muffins in this recipe for a lighter starter. Alternatively, if you’re lucky asparagus season (which usually starts in late April/early May) might come early – in which case, you’d be a fool not to serve steamed asparagus with a poached egg and hollandaise.
Fish for seconds
Fish’s Biblical significance makes it an appropriate – not to mention tasty – feature on an Easter menu too. To make things easier on the chef, you might simply want to serve sliced smoked salmon with some brown soda bread and lemon on the side. But if you want to push the boat out a little more, try this easy recipe for foil-poached salmon and serve it alongside a refreshing dill and cucumber salad.
To lamb or to ham?
There are only two choices when it comes to your meaty Easter mains: lamb or ham. In the UK, lamb is at its absolute best at Easter, when spring is just kicking into gear. Take the time to slow-roast it and you won’t regret it: Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for six-hour lamb is a modern Easter classic and since it uses lamb shoulder, it’s economical too.
Ham, on the other hand, is a more quintessentially American recipe for Easter-time – but with such great British ham at our fingertips, there’s no reason we can’t partake too. Nigella’s recipe for ham in coca cola is just about perfect: not only delicious but incredibly simple, leaving you more time to spend on dessert.
And not forgetting about vegetarians, this vegan Shepherd’s pie gives a cheeky nod to spring lambing in its title, while remaining completely meat-free and very, very tasty.
From hot cross buns to chocolate tart
Dessert is really where it’s at when Easter rolls around. But put those chocolate Easter eggs and hot cross buns aside for a moment: this four-course Easter meal deserves a show-stopper of a final dish. Jamie Oliver’s recipe for chocolate tart with sea salt flakes is easy but mind-bogglingly tasty, and looks stunning to boot. If chocolate isn’t what you’re looking for, go for Nigella’s lemon meringue cake instead.
And don’t forget about the children: these iced Easter biscuits are perfect for keeping them munching while the grown-ups continue to drink and digest.