A Feast for Easter—and Springtime—from Our Test Kitchen

March 18, 2016

You'll find a lot of eggs in this Easter feast—a spread of recipes from our test kitchen dream team Josh Cohen and Sara Jenkins, and a few from our community members, seasonista and Jennifer Wagner. Those eggs give much of the menu a richness and brightness, but that rich-bright balance (only right for such an early Easter) prevails whether or not the eggs are present.

Photo by James Ransom

It's there in the asparagus roasted the way Sara likes best, buttery and with a flurry of eggs mimosa on top; in cheesy, oniony egg toasts that bridge the gap between March's lion and lamb; in the vegetarian, artichoke oil-laced cassoulet and mustard-sharp lamb ribs; and in the almost downy ricotta cake Josh calls "foolproof"—among other things.

It's everything but the Easter bonnet. To spring!

The Menu:

Do you have a classic Easter menu, or do you vary from year to year? Tell us about it in the comments.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mary
  • Linda Evans
    Linda Evans
  • Connie
  • easup
  • Sydney
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Mary March 26, 2016
We always included the tastes of spring: asparagus , strawberries, lemon and of course eggs! Traditionally we served ham. My mother always served an Easter lunch but I have had the tradition of brunch with my family as we don't often do a big breakfast and it's such a treat. Deviled eggs are usually on the buffet, and an asparagus Gruyere frittata, fruit salad with a dustng of lime zest and dab of honey, and my sons' favorite - sugar bacon - bacon rolled in brown sugar and cinnamon and baked under the broiler until it's crisp and sticky - delicious, roasted asparagus with a vinaigrette and sweet breads - often cinnamon rolls or Mom's cinnamon coffee cake. Or sometimes Italian Easter Bread with the colored eggs baked into the twisted ring of sweet dough. It's often my husband's birthday and either a carrot cake or "Lemonade" cake with strawberries will be our dessert.
Linda E. March 19, 2016
My pashka. Start with 1 lb cottage cheese. It has to be good; in England I use Longley Farm, and I don't know what the US equivalent is. Put this in muslin on Thursday or Friday, to eat on Sunday, and weight it -- a 2-lb tin is what I use. On Saturday, push the cottage cheese through a food mill into a large bowl. Separately, beat 4 egg yolks till thick. Add 3 oz vanilla sugar, beat in, then 4 tbsp. double cream. When all well mixed, add 5 oz melted unsalted butter, cooled, and stir again. Add 3-6 oz mixed candied fruits (I use cherries, lumps of candied peel cut up, raisins) and 1-2 oz pistachios, whole and green (Not the salted sort!) Now add to the cottage cheese and blend all together. Rinse some cheesecloth, put the mixture in, and suspend to drain in the fridge. I usually use a sieve, which makes a dome shape. Let it drip overnight. Then turn out of the cheesecloth 1-2 hrs before serving, decorate, and put back in the fridge till serving time.
This serves 4-6 people, depending on greed. It scales up very well. I've made it for 70 people at an Easter wedding. I've made it every year for the last 40 or so. But some people don't like the richness and sharpness. The original came from an American cookbook of the 70's, called Feasts for all Seasons, and I adapted it to this version.
Zone March 24, 2016
Thank you so very much for sharing your pashka recipe (It took me this long because I couldn't remember where I posted and figured I would just look all through the Easter dinner post[s] specifically dessert). Since it's only 3 days till Easter Sunday (and still a whole month till Passover) I will have to save it for when I know I have the time to truly get into doing this right. I still think I will stick with making my tiramisu which is something as I thought it over. I've still not made for over a decade. I've just been buying it in the individual packs. Well at least this way there was portion control. Oh well guess I'll make a pan and try not to eat it all.
Connie March 18, 2016
Does anyone eat traditional ham, sweet potato, asparagus?
Deborah March 30, 2016
YES. We had brown sugar ham, mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus casserole, posh squash casserole, potato salad with green peas, and hot rolls. Carrot cake. Oh, and most importantly, deviled eggs.
easup March 18, 2016
Polish White Borscht (Bialy Barszcz)
We use the red eggs from the Greek tsougrisma (τσουγκρισμα in Greek) (cracking eggs for luck...) in the Polish borscht to blend our two families' cultures.
Linda E. March 18, 2016
My family Easter meal has roast lamb (shoulder if it's only family, because it's sweeter meat but harder to carve; leg if there are visitors) (has to be on the bone); a spring-like stew of fresh globe artichoke hearts, peas, fava beans for the veggies (and some for the rest of us); little new potatoes; some form of salad; and then finish with my version of Russian pashka. I make it with cottage cheese, lots of dried fruity goodies and pistachios for the colour, and shaped into a pyramid with XB (for the Russian for Christ is risen) written on it in small coloured sweets. They would be Smarties in England, M&M's in the US? I'll supply the pashka recipe if anyone is interested.
Zone March 18, 2016
To Linda Evans: Please do supply the pashka recipe.
Sydney March 18, 2016
squid rings carbonara , it looks like pasta but there is none
pea and edamame hummus
black rice
roasted honey carrots
lemon curd pavlova with pineapple and mango coulis
chocolate bark

its all about the colors and textures
and its just delicious
SophieL March 18, 2016
I usually serve ham or lamb but one year I served paella because I had just taken a paella class and wanted to reinforce what I had learned. It was a huge hit! Looked beautiful on the buffet, too.
aargersi March 18, 2016
I usually cook a rabbit. Because it's both delicious AND twisted.
Caroline L. March 18, 2016
I love to serve pea and mushroom crostini, baked mustard chicken with panko herb crust, potatoes colcannon, spinach salad with a warm bacon honey dressing and carrots with butter and chives, homemade biscuits and vanilla ice cream and berries for dessert.
Sarah E. March 18, 2016
I want to eat all of these.