Easter Made Easy

You don't have to cook low and slow to produce a heavy, meaty main for Easter. You can turn up the heat, high and fast for lighter springtime meals featuring salmon. And when it comes to salmon, planking is the way to go. It’s so easy: Soak a piece of cedar—you can get one at any gourmet grocer or fish market—plonk the fish on top, and broil or grill the whole thing. The plank contributes a smoky flavor to the fish and provides a perfect, flat cooking surface.

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Herbed Yogurt Sauce

Chowhound

Fresh dill and honey glazes are the most common toppings for salmon, but we go renegade with a tangy yogurt spread flavored with spring herbs. You can also go renegade with the wood: Try oak, cherry, or maple. Just make sure the plank is large enough and that it’s clean, untreated, and about an inch thick. Get our Cedar-Planked Salmon with Herbed Yogurt Sauce recipe.

That salmon goes with a variety of spring dishes. Rustle up a small meal or a big banquet with any of these recipes:

Drinks:

Mint “Limonata”

Chowhound

Limoncello mingles with vodka, soda water, and mint, cooled with crushed ice in order to herald spring and all things bright and cheery, including Easter. Get our Mint "Limonata" recipe.

Virgin Bellini

This is a simple mixed drink that will feel fancy, especially if you serve it in Champagne glasses or other nice stemware. All you need is peach nectar and lemon-lime soda. Get our Virgin Bellini recipe.

Yellow Bicycle

Chowhound

Opposites attract, apparently. Deep into a gritty neighborhood in San Francisco lies a bar named Rye, where they serve this light, bubbly cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, Yellow Chartreuse, and Prosecco. Get our Yellow Bicycle recipe.

Mint and Lime Iced Tea

Chowhound

When the weather warms up, this is a cool, refreshing, perky beverage you want in your hand. It's nice for special occasions too. Get our Mint and Lime Iced Tea recipe.

Lo Scintillante

Chowhound

Two Italian spiked beverages join forces for a slightly sweet, dry, bubbly drink with hints of clove and other spices. Get our Lo Scintillante recipe.

Starters:

Goat Cheese Toasts with Asparagus-Mushroom Ragu

Chowhound

Try these creamy bites of spring with shiitake mushrooms and one of spring's favorite vegetables, the elegant asparagus. Get our Goat Cheese Toasts with Asparagus -Mushroom Ragu recipe.

Black Pepper–Manchego Cheese Puffs

Chowhound

French cheese puffs with two cheeses — Parmesan and Manchego — are heavenly balls of peppery, cheesy air. It's what Jesus would do. Get our Black Pepper-Manchego Cheese Puffs recipe.

Chopped Fava Bean Crostini with Pecorino

Simplicity tastes good. Fava beans are brightened with lemon and fresh mint and upped with the umami of Pecorino Romano. Get our Chopped Fava Bean Crostini with Pecorino recipe.

Sainte-Maure, Basil and Fresh Herb Terrine

It may be a terrine, but this is not complicated. The instructions have one step, which doesn't include any cooking whatsoever. Just slicing, spreading, and arranging. Get our Sainte-Maure, Basil, and Fresh Herb Terrine recipe.


Deviled Eggs with Tarragon

Chowhound

Mustard, mayonnaise, tarragon, and capers make a great classic deviled egg. Get our Deviled Eggs with Tarragon recipe.

Salads:

Shaved Fennel and Pistachio Salad

The unexpected combination of fennel and pistachios is bolstered with lemon juice, zest, and olive oil. Get our Shaved Fennel and Pistachio Salad recipe.

Green Salad with Creamy Horseradish Vinaigrette

Crunchy, green, spicy: This is a great simple salad for Easter, especially when you need to focus on many other dishes for a big holiday dinner. Get our Green Salad with Creamy Horseradish Vinaigrette recipe.


Crunchy Celery and Romaine Heart Salad

Chowhound

English or Persian, it doesn't matter. The surprise ingredient? Hearts of palm. It all goes great with a thyme vinaigrette. Get our Crunchy Celery and Romaine Heart Salad recipe.

Fennel, Parsley, and Celery Salad

Chowhound

Sometimes a salad is just chopping and mixing with lemon juice. Like this salad. Add olives. Get our Fennel, Parsley, and Celery Salad recipe.

Caesar Salad

Chowhound

Add Romaine, Pecorino Romano, and garlicky croutons to this classic Caesar dressing with anchovies and egg yolks. Get our Caesar Salad recipe.

Sides:

Smoked Cheddar Soufflé

Chowhound

Crusty on the outside, soft and airy in the middle, this slightly smoky soufflé works as a side dish at East brunch or a main course for Easter dinner. Get our Smoked Cheddar Soufflé recipe.


Roasted Baby Carrots with Marmalade

Spring carrots pair beautifully with orange marmalade, which caramelizes in the oven to lend a pleasant punch of both sweet and bitter. Get our Roasted Baby Carrots with Marmalade recipe.


Bacon-Thyme Corn Muffin Tops

Chowhound

These savory breakfast treats are crunchy yet soft, and the best part of the muffin. They’re also the ideal item to dunk in creamy, smooth soup. Get our Bacon-Thyme Corn Muffin Tops recipe.


Farro Risotto with Asparagus and Fava Beans

This risotto is so packed full of fresh spring veggies, it’s all you’ll need to accompany Roasted Rack of Lamb for a light spring dinner or Easter meal. The farro makes it hearty enough to double as a delicious vegetarian main dish as well. Get our Farro Risotto with Asparagus and Fava Beans recipe.


Parker House Rolls

Chowhound

These folded-over rolls were made famous about 100 years ago at the Parker House hotel in Boston. Although these rolls take some time to make, they are beautifully soft with a chewy crust and will make a lovely addition to your holiday table. Get our Parker House Rolls recipe.

Desserts:

Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Whipped Cream

Chowhound

Celebrate the spring holiday by baking up a few shortcakes, stuffing them with fruit goodness, and topping it all with freshly whipped cream. Get our Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Whipped Cream recipe.


Rhubarb-Almond Bars

Chowhound

These bars have all the sweet-tart flavors of rhubarb pie with a simple buttery crust, but without the fussiness of rolling out pie dough. And you can still serve them topped with ice cream. Get our Rhubarb-Almond Bars recipe.

Almost Summer Pudding

Chowhound

The brioche in this pudding doesn’t come out as dark red as the bread in other summer puddings, but rest assured that it is soaked thoroughly and the end result would do any Brit proud. Be sure to start this recipe a day in advance, as the pudding needs to rest 24 hours before serving. Get our Almost Summer Pudding recipe.

Pistachio-Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

Chowhound

What’s better than a few scoops of ice cream? Layers of ice cream stacked up in a cake. Here we pile up three flavors — fresh strawberry, vanilla bean, and roasted pistachio — and finish everything with a crunchy layer of crushed vanilla cookies, for a dessert that’s quintessential summer. And if you’re not feeling up to homemade ice cream, just sub in good-quality store-bought versions of each flavor. Get our Pistachio-Strawberry Ice Cream Cake recipe.

Milk Chocolate Crêpe Terrine

With milk chocolate sauce sandwiched between layers of crêpes, this dessert from Chef Stéphane Reynaud’s book Terrine has no faults. Buy the vanilla sugar from a specialty shop or make your own for this wonder. Get our Milk Chocolate Crêpe Terrine recipe.

Not feeling like fish this Easter? Check out some of our other recipes and menus for inspiration:

See more articles
Share this article: