One of my favorite Easter traditions is not dressing our Sunday best, it’s the family Easter egg hunt. When I was little, my parents would stuff some of the eggs with money. I would scour the living room for the hiding spots. Some were obvious and some were not. Either way, I’d always beat my twin brothers to the best eggs. I’m carrying this nostalgia forward to create new memories for Luke and Henry.
Now, it’s time to head into the kitchen. Mike’s in charge of the traditional ham and lamb. I’m in charge of side dishes. These simple recipes will have you spending less time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones. Trust me, your guests will be hopping back for seconds.
Sanem’s Layered Carrots
Carrots are basically the official veggie of Easter. When roasted, they become slightly sweet and caramelized. Mixed with some fresh flavors, it’s the perfect side dish.
12 (roughly) rainbow carrots, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cut carrots in a bowl with olive oil so each piece gets equally coated. Spread evenly on a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until slightly crisp.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Arrange the roasted carrots on a serving platter and layer with fresh pomegranate seeds and dill. (I like to garnish with a couple of full sprigs of dill around the edges of the plate!)
Crispy, Crunchy Cauliflower
With just 2 bags of frozen cauliflower and a few minutes prep you are rewarded with a dish everyone will devour.
1 (medium sized) Sweet Onion
1-3 sprigs of Rosemary
2 bags of Frozen Cauliflower (I used the Organic Rainbow Cauliflower from Trader Joes)
¼ cup Marcona Almonds (I used the Roasted and Salted Marcona Almonds with Rosemary from Trader Joes)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the frozen cauliflower to a bowl and coat evenly with olive oil. Lay them on a sheet pan, sprinkle salt and roast for 40 minutes.
While the cauliflower is in the oven you can get the rest of your ingredients ready. Dice your onion. Mince your rosemary (leave a few small sprigs for garnish!) Chop up the marcona almonds.
Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. (This is my go to pan!) Add the diced onion and sauté until almost translucent. Next add the minced rosemary and a pinch of salt and sauté for another minute. This helps to build the base flavor for the dish.
Add the roasted cauliflower and chopped almonds along with another pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Mix everything together over medium heat until well combined.
Place on a serving dish and top with a few chopped almonds, a sprig of rosemary and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
The Double P
Save yourself time and get the pre-packed, pre-cut pancetta from Trader Joe’s.
The texture and saltiness of the pancetta is such a great addition to the peas.
2 bags of Frozen Peas (2 lbs)
8 oz. diced Pancetta (I use the Citterio brand from Trader Joes)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Place a large pan over medium heat and sauté the diced pancetta for about two minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook until the pancetta starts to brown.
Add the peas, dried oregano, salt and pepper and allow to cook until the peas are warmed through (about 4-5 minutes.) I like when the peas still hold a little bit of a crunch.
Be sure to test the recipe before removing from the heat. The pancetta is naturally salty so this recipe does not need much salt but be sure to adjust for your liking.
Strawberry Raspberry Shortstack
Of course, there needs to be a little something sweet for Easter Sunday. My take on an updated strawberry shortcake!
Sarah Lee’s Pound Cake (in the freezer section)
1 cup Strawberry Cream Cheese
1 cup Marshmallow Fluff
Fresh Whipped Cream
For the Whipped Cream:
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3 ½ tbsp Powdered Sugar
Small Mason Jars for serving
Start by making the whipped cream. Whip the cream in a bowl with a whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar. Whisk just until stiff peaks form. (Do not over whisk!)
Cut the pound cake into small circles (so they will fit in the bottom of your mason jar.)
In a separate bowl, whisk together the strawberry cream cheese and marshmallow fluff.
Now it’s time to layer! Pound cake, strawberry cream cheese fluff, fresh raspberries, whipped cream. Garnish with a few more fresh raspberries and voilá!
Note: This recipe is even better chilled. Make ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve!
For the table scape, I chose one color and kept it consistent through my decor. I went with all white flowers for a clean, fresh look. I am not much of a chachki person, I believe less is more, but when I say these adorable wooden eggs I thought they would lend a hand to adding depth on the table. They will be perfect to display the side dishes, plus, these eggs don’t read seasonal to me, I can use them again when I host a brunch!