Like most holidays, spicing up a typical Easter menu isn’t always as simple as it sounds. In the midst of cleaning, decorating and preparing usual favorites, there’s rarely time to get creative. But how many times can you serve lamb with that basic mashed potatoes side dish? Long Island chefs are here to help you change it up. Make Easter even more delicious with these Easter recipes.
Executive Chef at Kyma in Roslyn
“My best Easter memories from growing up all surround the roasting of the lamb. I remember as a child being woken up extra early by my dad to start the day. We would have to prep and string it, and someone would always have to be tending to it because back then it was all done by hand. It’s a six or seven hour process. Sometimes the weather wouldn’t cooperate so we’d have to make makeshift shelters with tarps or put up plywood—we really had to get creative a few times. Lots of people see it as the dreaded task of the holiday, but it’s always been my favorite by far.”
10 lbs peeled potatoes, quartered
5 tomatoes roughly diced
3 onions roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 quart of lemon juice
1 quart of olive oil
3 tbsp of chicken stock
finely chopped fresh rosemary
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Peel and quarter potatoes, chop onions and rosemary, dice garlic and tomatoes.
– Mix together lemon juice, olive oil and chicken stock. Add potatoes, onions, garlic and tomatoes to cover.
– Season to taste with salt, pepper, oregano and finely chopped fresh rosemary.
– Cover and place in oven for 45 minutes.
– Uncover and cook for an additional 20 minutes for color.
Executive Chef at The Heritage Club at Bethpage in Farmingdale
“My parents owned a restaurant so I grew up in the business. I first started working when I was 13 and can remember putting up Easter decorations and always looking forward to spring after a long cold winter—much like this year. I remember our chef seeming more stressed than usual, rearranging the kitchen and getting ready for the big holiday. The best part was my mother always made sure we all sat down at the end of service for a staff meal to celebrate together, and we’ve continued on the tradition at The Heritage Club.”
Easter Wheat Berry Salad
1 cup of wheat berries
1 quart of water
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
2 tsp of honey
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
6 tbsp of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of diced celery
1/4 cup of chopped scallions
1/4 cup of diced red peppers
1/4 cup of diced yellow peppers
salt and pepper to taste
– Rinse wheat berries under cold water through a strainer until water runs clear.
– In a large pot, place wheat berries, cold water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for one hour or until tender. Drain and let cool.
– In a large bowl, add honey and apple cider vinegar slowly to oil.
– Add cooled wheat berries and all remaining ingredients to the bowl, toss together, add salt and pepper to taste.
– Bowl up, garnish and serve.
Executive Chef and Partner at Harbor Bistro in East Hampton
“Easter was always very exciting for me as a child because I knew spring had arrived and next stop was summer. It also meant baseball season was here and Little League was starting. Playing outdoors became the priority and we made the best of our long days. It always had a different feel than the other big holidays because it’s in a season where we see the starting point of life—trees, vegetation and the seasonal visiting birds. The sight of a rare cardinal always turned heads and brought out the camera. It was a day where we could all get away with wearing pink, yellow or lavender and not think twice about it. In my memory, Easter is full of life and color!”
Roasted Tomato and Lamb Bruschetta
1/2 lb leftover leg of lamb, small diced
1/4 cup of Kalamata olives, minced
1 lb Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 loaf semolina bread
4 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
– Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
– Warm the garlic in the olive oil to infuse garlic flavor and slightly cook garlic. Do not make too hot. Coat the tomatoes in olive oil and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Roast 25 minutes to concentrate the flavor and until tender.
– Cut 2 large “planks” of bread, each ½ inch thick, by slicing the bread lengthwise horizontally. Reserve the rest of the loaf for another use. Toast the bread in the broiler on both sides.
– Heat the cooked lamb in the broiler until hot.
– In a bowl, lightly mash the roasted tomatoes and combine with the lamb, olives, scallions and basil. Top the large planks with tomato mixture then cut each giant crostini into 4 pieces (8 pieces total).