Spring is officially here! We see the tell-tale signs—the weather is getting warmer, the foliage is getting greener, and it’s almost time for Easter and Passover.
The most memorable way to celebrate these spring holidays is with family, friends, and great food. We’ve compiled 3 great recipes for oh-so-perfect springtime dishes for your holiday feasts.
Evan’s Roast Leg of Lamb
Evan Lobel says Roasted Leg of Lamb is a dish that always makes him think about spring. Evan remembers preparing a leg of lamb when he and his father were guests on Martha Stewart Living in the 1990s. It was a warm spring day and the segment was filmed outdoors. This recipe reminds Evan of that day and all the fond memories he shared with his father.
- Combine the olive oil, mustard, garlic, rosemary, and pepper to form a paste. Brush the mixture all over the leg of lamb. Let rest in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
- Preheat over at 350°F. Transfer the leg of lamb to a roasting pan. Roast in the middle of the oven for 75 to 90 minutes, beginning to check for doneness after 60 minutes. The roast is medium-rare when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 135°F.
- Remove from the oven, and allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Baked Ham with Pink Champagne
Ham is a signature dish at many Easter gatherings. But why not try a new ham recipe this year? This recipe is perfect for a celebration! The ham is marinated in the champagne overnight resulting in amazing smoky-sweet flavor.
1 (14-16 lb.) pre-cooked smoked ham
1 bottle pink champagne
4 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 tablespoon honey
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
24 whole cloves
1 large can pineapple rings
2 tablespoons peach brandy
- Score fat on top of ham in a crisscross pattern, then marinate with champagne overnight in refrigerator. The next day, remove ham from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for half an hour. Place on platter and reserve champagne.
- Mix orange and pineapple juice with honey and brown sugar. Rub this liquid all over ham and decorate with cloves.
- Place ham on rack in roasting pan and add enough champagne to cover bottom (about 1 cup). Place in a cold oven and turn heat to 325°F.
- Bake for 1 hour. Pour another cup of champagne over ham, adding more if bottom of pan is not covered.
- Bake 15 minutes and baste with pan drippings and champagne.
- Return to oven and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Place pineapple rings over ham and put a cherry in the center of each. Baste well with pan drippings and additional champagne and cook for 15 minutes.
- Just before serving, heat brandy and dribble it over all, then flame.
Serve with candied sweet potatoes, buttered cauliflower, and pink champagne.
Brisket of Beef
Brisket is a traditional favorite to serve at a seder dinner during Passover. A braised brisket is the epitome of sitting down with your family or friends amidst the heady aroma to a meal that is the very essence of comfort food, community, and connections.
5 lb. beef brisket
3 tbsp. olive oil
Pepper, freshly ground
4 large onions, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
8 medium mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 shallots, chopped
½ tsp tarragon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat brisket dry with paper towels.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper and add to pot. Brown on all sides and remove from pot.
- Add the onion, green pepper, and celery to the same pot and brown lightly in oil. Reduce heat and return brisket to pot. Add peppercorns, cover, and simmer for about 3 hours.
- Skim off fat from pan juices and pour the fat into a small skillet. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and tarragon, and sauté until soft.
- Distribute the mushroom mixture evenly over meat and cook for about half an hour.
Serve with crisp Italian bread, salad, and red wine.
What do you like to serve for Easter or Passover? What dish makes you think of spring? How do you celebrate the spring holidays?