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Easter Dinner

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
my family has tasked me with doing ALL of easter dinner this year. I am making a leg of lamb, however I am a bit worried about side dishes.

I will probably just make mashed potatoes, some green beans and other boring vegetables, but if you were in my shoes... what side dishes would you try?
post #2 of 10
I don't know how you are preparing the lamb, but some rice cooked with a dash of lemon, topped with lamb gravy and mint sprigs might be nice.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #3 of 10
It's traditional in many European countries to serve spring lamb at Easter. In the UK, we cook a leg of lamb. I studd mine with slivers of garlic and a prodigious amount of fresh rosemary and roast. With it, I serve the traditional British 'sunday roast' veggies - ie potatoes roasted with garlic and rosemary, roasted parsnips and french turnips (the small ones), honey glazed carrots, spring greens and petit pois (frozen, but cooked with lots of fresh mint from the garden!). I make a large Yorkshire pudding as two of the number do not eat red meat - but everyone usually manages to find space for a small piece. I make a wine gravy with the pan juices and serve home-made mint sauce (not that fluorescent green 'jelly' beloved of supermarkets) and redcurrant sauce on the side.
post #4 of 10
Lamb goes extraordinarily well with beans, especially things like flageolets. Soak overnight, then bring to a boil in a generous amount of mild stock with some peeled garlic cloves, half an onion, and a sprig of thyme. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or so until getting tender -- when you pull one out and blow on it, the skin peels back. Add a generous pinch of salt and some coarse pepper, and simmer another 20 minutes or so until just done. Allow to cool in the pot, and reheat gently if need be. For a fancier take on this, pull out a bunch of the beans and mash them with a fork in a bowl, then add some heavy cream and a little butter and keep mashing until the liquid is basically absorbed. The beans will not be smooth. Add the strained beans to this mix and serve hot.

Another good side for lamb is a spring-y fruit salsa. I like kiwi and melon, but that's because I usually end up getting my lamb in late summer, for complicated reasons. Pick what's really good: you want strong, bright flavors and a fair amount of acid. Add red or white onion, fresh mint chiffonade, seeded hot chile to taste, and salt and pepper. If your fruit isn't acidic, add a squeeze of grapefruit or lemon -- I find that lime doesn't work well here.

If the weather is very warm where you live and you have the option to grill a bit, try grilled fruit, e.g. apricot or peach. Peel, halve, and remove the seed. Roll in olive oil, then leave to drain. Just before grilling, sprinkle the cut side with coarse salt and pepper, then grill hot until the top is just warm, by which point the bottom will be well caramelized. Garnish with fresh herbs appropriate to the lamb. (I can't stand rosemary, but if you must use it, let it sit next to the fruit and encourage people to sniff it while they eat -- that way its flavor is present without overpowering everything.)
post #5 of 10
Green peas/snow peas....with a hint of mint

roasted fingerling potatoes, cut in half

Asparagus Salad with blue crumbles and shallot viniagrette

Maybe citrus and beets.....

Chippoline Onions.....caramelized would be nice

Strawberries....either shortcake or over crepes
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #6 of 10
I would definitely go with a lighter and brighter spring veggie dish.
post #7 of 10
I like to change it up every time I make lamb but these 2 side dishes are a must when it comes to balancing out the heaviness of the lamb.

Snow peas (I use the frozen kind, they're great) brought to a boil with several sprigs of mint with them. Remove the mint sprgs and drizzle with olive oil and lemon right before serving (any sooner than that and the lose their color).

Romaine and dill salad - Cut the lettuce chiffonade, mix with fresh dill and finely chopped scallion. Dress with a red wine vinegraitte.

I like to serve tzatziki on the side as well. Greeks like to slather their lamb with it but realize this takes you into a mediterranean style meal.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #8 of 10
I think the snow peas with hint of mint wins out here. I can't think of anything better.
post #9 of 10
Fresh fava beans could be cooked up with a little mint, if they're available.
post #10 of 10
It's just us and the neighbors this year so we aren't cooking a whole lamb. I boned and butterflied a leg and it will go in a lemon-olive oil-garlic-rosemary-parsley marinade over night and then I'll grill it tomorrow. Sides will be an edamame salad we've come to enjoy. Edamame with red onion, tomato, mushrooms, mint dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. We used to do the same salad with Habas (fava beans) but the edamame is a whole lot easier...Garlic roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus.
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