Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays. Certainly, the requisite chocolate doesn't hurt (Cadbury mini-eggs are my indulgence of choice - you have to love a day when it's appropriate to consume a whole pack of chocolate before noon!), but I love the time spent around a table packed with family, usually after a morning church service. Here are some of my favorite recipes, just perfect for this important holiday. Some are new, some old, but all would be perfect to share with anyone you love. Wherever you're celebrating, our team at Flavors wishes you bon appetit!
These delicious starters are bright yellow (hopefully to remind you of spring daffodils and NOT of the pollen that has so ungraciously blanketed Atlanta of late) and the addition of truffle offers a twist on the traditional. This recipe appears in the spring (current) issue of Flavors and is courtesy of ADAiRE Professional Chefs. Best of all, they are quite easy to make!
Yield: 6 servings
6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons truffle cream or shavings
1/4 cup mustard salt and white pepper to taste
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup truffle oil
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
Carefully cut eggs in half and remove yolks. To serve as pictured, halve eggs as shown and cut small slice
off bottom of each egg to stabilize them. Combine yolks, mayonnaise, truffles and mustard. Add salt and
white pepper to taste. Pipe yolk mixture back into egg whites. Toss arugula with truffle oil and finish with
salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh chives.
I love this recipe - it's simple and easy to double (or even triple for a large group). A friend passed it along to me years ago, and it's been a staple recipe for me ever since. Plus, I find that marjoram (the "secret" ingredient!) is an under-used herb, so it adds a nice surprising flavor. Forgive me for not having a photo immediately - hopefully I will add one after I make up a batch this Easter weekend!
Yield: 4 servings
3 large ears of corn (you may grill these or microwave them, if you're in a hurry), shaved off of the cob
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half (use red or orange, or a mix; yellow is too monochromatic with the corn)
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. fresh marjoram (may use dried, if necessary), the tiny leaves picked off of the stems
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and feta cheese. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper (salt conservatively, so that you can add more later). Toss the dressing with the salad, and add the feta cheese and marjoram. *Since the feta is salty, taste first before adding more salt to taste. NOTE: While you can serve this salad immediately, the flavors marry well if left in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
This recipe was another favorite recipe from ADAiRE Professional Chefs from my spring entertaining article in the current (print) issue of Flavors. I'm honestly not a huge fan of ham (I think I've been in too many countries where ham was a staple and it's turned me off a bit), but this recipe offers an updated take on traditional Easter pork. The pesto crust on the outside is a lovely green and the panko offers a nice crunch, while the meat is perfectly tender.
Yield: 6 servings
2 cups chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 pounds pork tenderloin
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor and
blend, scraping down the sides occasionally until well blended. Transfer to a bowl. Beat in Parmesan cheese
by hand then beat in softened butter and panko. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and coat with
the pesto mixture. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing and
Growing up, I was a chocolate girl all the way - fruit didn't seem like much of a dessert. However, lemon chess pie was one of the things I always looked forward to, particularly this recipe, which is one of my mother's favorites. It was clipped out of a magazine ages ago (likely by my grandmother, "Dee Dee" or even her mother, Grandma Georgie), originally on the menu at the historic New Perry Hotel, in Perry, Georgia. I cheat a little and use a store-bought crust, but more power to you if you brave making your own (one of my goals for 2012!). It ends the meal on a sweet note, and it is beyond simple to make - just mix the ingredients, pour into the crust and let the oven do the rest of the work!
Yield: 8 servings
1 1/2 cups sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 large lemons
Juice of 3 large lemons (under NO circumstances use bottled - fresh is the ONLY way to go!)
5 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
One 9-inch unbaked pie shell
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar, zest and juice in a bowl. With a hand mixer, beat yolks in one at a time. Drizzle butter in, beating constantly. Pour filling into prepared pie crust and bake, on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack (pie should be room temperature before attempting to cut it). Enjoy! **Store in the refrigerator.