From a heartier bistro-style salad with goat cheese to a light and bright mix of gingery radishes, these Easter Salads make excellent use of the bounty of spring produce we've been craving for months. I hate to choose favorites in such an all-star line-up, but I must admit that I have a special affinity for the Asparagus Tossed Salad pictured above with thinly cut asparagus, lemony dressing, pistachios, and little perlini mozzarella balls.
The tender vegetables of spring lend themselves easily to simple side dishes with tons of flavor for the Easter table. These Easter Side Dishes work well at brunch or dinner, depending on when you're planning the big meal. I can't help but give a special shout-out for both Braised Artichokes and Vignarola. Both are slowly cooked and taste great warm or at room temperature, so they're perfect for making ahead for stress-free entertaining.
Let's be real. Easter can involve a lot of candy. And rich lamb or ham. It's the perfect time to break out a whole bunch of vegetables to start things off instead of cheese and crackers or chips and dip. These Spring Appetizers for Easter have tons of fresh spring flavor, are packed full of veggies, look stunning in all their green and colorful glory, and taste great. Since they let the delicate tastes of spring produce shine through, they're also simple and light.
In many families, it ain't Easter without lamb on the table (or turning on the spit). My all-time favorite way to cook lamb is on the grill. And for festive occasions I turn to a butterflied leg of lamb, marinated overnight if possible. This time of year I like to add bright spring radishes and sliced spring onions and fresh mint (so much better than mint jelly) alongside the rich meat for crunching. It makes a grand Easter platter, I tell you. Check out Grilled Leg of Lamb to see for yourself.
Whether or not you celebrate Easter, true spring lamb is a delicious element of seasonal eating - and if you can find a locally grown one, all the better. Finding that local lamb can be quite tricky, however, as fewer farmers raise sheep (a farmer I know stopped trying because the carnage from the coyotes was too much to handle - emotionally and financially). In fact, you may only be able to find imported lamb at the meat counter. Learn more About Different National Lambs here. You may also find this Guide to Lamb Cuts useful as you head to the market.