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7 Easter Recipes for you to impress the entire family

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For a major holiday, Easter doesn't perhaps get the culinary recognition it deserves. Chocolate eggs and Hot Cross Buns are very good, but they can get a bit boring and predictable - especially when they've been on sale for several weeks beforehand. 

That's why this article exists - to offer you some potential alternatives to these much loved classics. After all, Easter is at the start of spring, meaning you can dust off the cobwebs and produce some wonderful recipes using seasonal ingredients, from quick but healthy bites and mixes to a luxurious and elaborate Sunday roast for the day. Why not give some of the recipes below a try, and truly make this Easter a pleasurable palate experience?

1. Hearty Potato Salad with Spring Onion and Watercress

The humble potato comes into season in April, so give it the respect it deserves and pair it with the sharpness of spring onion and coolness of watercress to produce a potato salad which is packed full of flavour, whilst not necessarily being as unhealthy as a traditional option.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

1 Small Bag British New Potatoes

1 Spring Onion

80g Baby Leaf Watercress

Salt and Pepper to taste

50g Fat-free Yoghurt

Method:

1) Scrub, and if you prefer, peel the potatoes. Boil them in a pan of hot water for 10 minutes, take off the boil and drain.

2) While the water is boiling, finely dice the spring onion and roughly chop the watercress. In a large bowl, measure out the yoghurt and add salt and pepper to taste.

3) Dice the potatoes into small chunks, about 1 inch long. Add to the yoghurt, along with the watercress and spring onion and toss until the mixture has an even coating. Cover with clingfilm and refridgerate until needed. The salad will last for up to 2 days. 

As an alternative, for a smokier flavour, add two tablespoons paprika to the yoghurt and mix in quickly before adding the rest of the mix. 

2. Popcorn Nest Cakes

A variant on the classic Easter recipe, these nests are made with salted popcorn, bitter dark chocolate and the dried fruit instead provides a sweetened kick. At around 130 calories, they are a great snack to reward yourself with after a long day at work, or an intense exercise session.

Makes about 24 Cakes

Ingredients:

200g Bitter Dark Chocolate (Ideally a minimum 70% cocoa solids)

2Tablespoons Canola Oil (Although Olive will work as well)

80g Mixed Dried Fruit

150g Unsweetened Corn Flakes

50g No Fat Salted Popcorn

12 Glace Cherries, Halved

Optional- 40g Flaky Almonds

Method

1)    Place 24 cupcake cases in two muffin tins. Roughly dice the chocolate and melt with the oil, either over a pan of hot water or in the microwave. Stir periodically to combine the two, and get a glossy mixture.

2)    In a large bowl, add the Corn Flakes, Salted Popcorn and Dried Fruit. If using, also add the almonds. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top and stir vigorously, ensuring the full mix gets coated and starts to stick together. You can use a small teaspoon of golden syrup if required.

3)    Spoon a tablespoon-sized portion of mixture into each case and top with the halved cherries. Set in a cool place for around one hour.

The cakes can be stored in an airtight container and will keep for up to one week.

3. Asparagus omelette 

If you are stuck for something to make at Easter when you realise that one of your guests is vegetarian, don’t panic! This asparagus omelette makes a light alternative to the traditional heavy gratins they’ve probably been having all winter, and it gets bonus points for using the versatile asparagus, which just comes into season around April.

Get a recipe here.

4. Simnel Cake

Image credit: James E. Petts 

Although sometimes made for Mothering Sunday, Simnel Cake is a rich and decadent staple of the bakery and cake shops during the Easter Period. This sweet cinnamony fruit-cake packs a punch, with dried peel, fruit and marzipan dotted throughout, as opposed to the traditional layer approach. This means not only is the cake less heavy, but the wonderful studded slices which can be cut are certainly Instagram-worthy in the right light.

Get a recipe here

5. Easter Bunny Cake

A fun and friendly centrepiece for any family occasion, this Easter Bunny Cake is surprisingly simple, requiring just one layer of cake, a little bit of icing work and some desiccated coconut. Although the recipe suggests using pre-made options for both the icing and the cake, it is only a little bit of extra work to make these from scratch, and you can find quick and easy recipes for both these elements online. A sweet and simple treat for the whole family to enjoy!

Get a recipe here

6. Oven-roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce

The crowning glory of a traditional Easter Sunday lunch, lamb is a wonderful, if expensive, meat. Choose a good quality leg with little to no fat running through to ensure it is tender and soft, rather than stringy and chewy. Pair it with the classic mint sauce, add a few trimmings and you have an excellent bulk of an Easter Sunday meal.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1kg British Leg of Lamb

1 Bunch, Rosemary, chopped

½ Bulb, Garlic, broken into cloves and lightly crushed

125ml Red Wine

300ml Stock (Ideally lamb, but chicken or beef will work)

3 Sprigs, Fresh Mint

2 tablespoons, White Wine Vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Sugar (to taste)

Method:

1)    Preheat the Oven to 200 degrees Celsius, or Gas Mark Six. Remove the lamb from the fridge and get the meat to room temperature. Add a little oil to a roasting tin and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

2)    Whilst the oil is warming, roughly chop the rosemary and crush the garlic. Measure out the wine and the stock. Score the lamb all over.

3)    Remove the roasting tin from the oven and place the lamb in the centre. Scatter the garlic, rosemary over the meat, basting it with the heated oil. Also pour over the red wine and the stock, and return to the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn the lamb over half-way to ensure it remains moist throughout.

4)    Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest, in a warm area, covered in foil for 20 to 30 minutes before carving and serving.

5)    Whilst the lamb is resting, finely chop the mint, mix with the lemon juice, vinegar and sugar to taste to make the mint sauce.

If you’ve prefer a richer gravy to pair with the lamb, once you have removed the meat from the oven, strain the juices, along with the rosemary and garlic through a sieve into a jug.

7. Easter Egg Truffle Mousse

If you’d describe yourself as a chocoholic, this is the recipe for you. Take advantage of the abundance of chocolate that pops up around Easter and whip up this decadent dessert for the whole family to enjoy. If you are feeling especially luxurious, you can serve them individually in half an egg shell and then eat up the bowl once you’ve finished.

Fills 2 Eggshells

Ingredients

100g Dark Chocolate (Ideally a minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely grated

50g Caster Sugar

2 Egg Yolks

250ml Double Cream

(Optional) 1 teaspoon Cream Liquor

2 Digestive biscuits, crushed

50g White Chocolate, melted, to serve

Method:

1)    Heat the sugar together with a small amount of water until it becomes a thin liquid caramel. Take off the heat, add to the dark chocolate in a separate bowl and add the egg yolks. Mix together until all melted.

2)    Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the chocolate mixture into the cream, in a figure of eight motion until the mixture turns glossy and has fully combined. Place in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight to set.

3)    To serve, melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the mouse, along with a sprinkling of the crushed biscuits.

So there you have it. A variety of recipes both old and new, some twists on classic dishes, some decadent and rich dining experiences and some newer and more refined dishes for the palate. Celebrate Easter right and get cooking - you really won’t regret it.

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