What fresh, savory surprises this updated menu for Easter dinner brings! Best of all, it's really doable: Just follow our make-ahead plan.
Spring Feast Easter Dinner Menu (Serves 8)We had great fun putting fresh twists on this classic ham Easter dinner menu. Baked ham, glazed with aromatic vermouth... A brisk and effervescent Champagne Limoncello Cocktail... Dill and smoked salmon–stuffed eggs (a delightful variation on the old deviled standard)... The glorious spring blessings of peak-season asparagus, sweet carrots, fingerling potatoes, baby artichokes, and strawberries...
Do we have your appetite’s attention yet? It’s a feast to take proudly to the table. Promise: With our tips and make-ahead timeline, you can pull off the whole menu with ease. Or, pick and choose which menu ideas you’ll like to incorporate into your Easter dinner traditions. (Looking for Easter Brunch ideas? See 7 more Easter Menus.)
Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and HerbsUse any combination of herbs you like for this easy and tasty starter.
Carrot Soup with YogurtA hint of toasted sesame oil lends depth to this velvety soup. Use real baby carrots, not the whittled-down packaged ones, which are lacking in flavor. Garnish with sautéed carrot strips.
Champagne Limoncello CocktailsA sugared rim is a pretty touch—rub a cut lemon wedge on the rim of the glass, and roll in sugar. You needn't purchase expensive Champagne; just be sure to use brut, the driest Champagne, or a dry cava or prosecco.
Asparagus and Spring Greens Salad with Gorgonzola VinaigretteAsparagus with tender greens offers bright spring flavors plus the bite of Gorgonzola in the vinaigrette.
Baked Ham with Rosemary and Sweet VermouthThis succulent ham takes cues from the Mediterranean with piney rosemary and sweet, herbal vermouth.
No-Knead Overnight Parmesan and Thyme RollsStir the dough together quickly the day before shaping and baking—no kneading necessary. The dough is more like a thick batter; don't add additional flour or the rolls will turn out dry.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Baby Artichokes
This simple side dish features in-season baby artichokes and fingerling potatoes roasted to perfection. Toss with a small amount of butter, fresh parsley, and grated lemon rind just before serving.
Lavender-Scented Strawberries with Honey Cream
Showcase the season's first berries in this rich, not-too-sweet dessert. Be sure to use Greek yogurt, which has been strained and is thus very thick and creamy.
Make-Ahead Plan5 days ahead: Hard-cook eggs; refrigerate in shells.
2 days ahead: Make Gorgonzola Vinaigrette. Blanch asparagus for salad. Make vermouth glaze for ham. Make lavender syrup for dessert.
1 day ahead: Fill eggs (leave off herb garnish). Make soup. Rub ham with seasonings. Make roll dough. Make Honey Cream.
3 hours ahead: Start cooking ham.
1 to 2 hours ahead: Shape dough and allow to rise. Prep artichokes. Quarter strawberries.
While ham rests: Cook potatoes and artichokes. Reheat soup (add water or chicken broth if soup is too thick). Top eggs with herb garnish.
Last-minute: Bake rolls. Make cocktails. Toss salad just before serving.
Perfect Wine PairingsHam, the centerpiece of our Easter menu, pairs well with dry rosé wine. Light tannins and berry fruitiness make it a thirst-quenching partner for ham’s salt cure. The acidity and dry finish of Jaboulet Côtes du Rhône Parallèle 45 Rosé 2008 ($13, left bottle) also complement the artichoke-potato side dish.
Much the way apple, apricot, and pineapple are ideal partners for ham, so, too, are wines with similar fruity notes. Apricot and yellow apple flavors of Hogue Riesling 2008 ($10, center bottle) make a juicy contrast to salty ham. Crisp acidity and light body keep it from seeming too sweet.
For the fresh fruit dessert, choose a wine that is equally refreshing, like a Moscato. It's generally light in alcohol, with just enough sugar to match our gently sweet dessert. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Moscato 2008 ($8, right bottle) has lychee and honey aromas that highlight the honey cream.