The approaching Easter holiday really makes it feel like Spring. While we are anxiously still awaiting the arrival of Spring produce at the market (hello, Asparagus!!), I have found some great seasonal recipes to make for Easter dinner.
First up is a Leg of Lamb, accompanied by a Carrot and Onion Tart and Mashed Parsnips. For dessert, a Maple-Apple Upside Down Cake Sounds delightful!
Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary – Epicurious
- 1 (7-pound) semi-boneless leg of lamb, aitchbone removed, fat trimmed to ¼-inch think and lamb tied
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt
- 2 Tbsps. chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ cup dry red wine or beef broth
- Pat lamb dry and score fat by making shallow cuts all over with tip of a sharp, small knife.
- Pound garlic to a paste with sea salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a heavy knife) and stir together with rosemary and pepper. Put lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan, then rub paste all over lamb. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roast lamb in middle of oven until and instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into thickest part of meat (do not touch bone) registers 130 degrees F, 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 15-25 minutes (internal temp will rise to about 140 degrees F for medium rare).
- Add wine to pan and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Season pan juices with salt and pepper and serve with lamb.
Caramelized Carrot and Onion Tart – Delish
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator overnight
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lb. large carrots, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
- Kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 onions, ends trimmed, peeled, and thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- 1 c. freshly grated Parmesan
- ¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line half sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface to 11×11-inch square. Using a sharp paring knife, gently score a ½-inch border, carefully cutting halfway through the pastry. Brush lightly with egg wash on the border and bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, carrots, and ½ tsp. salt. Sauté for 10 minutes until edges become golden brown. Add 1 Tbsp. vegetable stock and cover for 5 minutes. Simultaneously in another large skillet over medium heat melt 2 Tbsp. butter and sauté onions. Stir occasionally. Add 2 Tbsp. stock, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper and cool for 2 minutes until moisture is absorbed.
- Since pastry will be puffed up, gently press with fingers to flatten the center area leaving the border raised. Sprinkle cheese evenly all over the center, then evenly layer onions and lastly, spread out the carrots. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Roasted Garlic-Parsnip Puree – Delish
- 2 lbs. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 head garlic
- ¾ c. milk
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. Thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place parsnips on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cut off top of garlic head and drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil and place on the baking sheet with parsnips. Bake until parsnips are very tender, 40 minutes. Garlic should be golden and very soft; if not, place back in oven and continue to bake another 15 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Place parsnips into a large bowl or food processor. Squeeze each clove of garlic into bowl with parsnips. Add milk, butter, and thyme and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Maple-Apple Upside Down Cake – Food and Wine
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 apples – peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ c. buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- Crème Fraiche, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan. In a large saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then simmer over low heat until very thick and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Pour the thickened syrup into the cake pan. Arrange the apples in the pan in 2 concentric circles, overlapping them slightly.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a glass measuring cup, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry and wet ingredients in 3 alternating batches until the batter is smooth; scrape down the side of the bowl.
- Scrape the batter over the apples and spread it in an even layer. Bake the cake for 1 hour, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack for 45 minutes.
- Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the plate; tap lightly to release the cake. Remove the pan. Let the cake cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve with crème fraîche.
Market Shopping List:
- Leg of Lamb
- Maple Syrup