Easter Traditions and Modern-Day Twists
I love to celebrate all the Easter traditions—from coloring Easter eggs to preparing an Easter feast that includes the traditional roasted leg of lamb.
- Try Cristina's recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops with Simple Syrup Mint Dipping Sauce
- Hot cross buns, small wheat cakes, are traditional. I don't think I ever had one—actually, I thought they were made up for a nursery rhyme! In fact, the Greeks make these round flat loaves marked with a cross and decorate them with Easter eggs.
- Pretzels, another traditional food, were first shaped to indicate the torso of a person with arms folded, praying. Who knew?
- Ham became a traditional food for Easter because when there wasn't refrigeration, the pork that wasn't eaten during the winter months before Lent was then cured for spring. The hams were ready around Easter, and a tradition of serving ham was born to celebrate the Easter dinner.
Read about Cristina's dinner "masterpiece" and get tips for what to do with your leftover Easter eggs
For my masterpiece, I made egg salad with the colored eggs that the Easter Bunny left, then I shaped the egg salad like a bunny—rabbit ears and all! I frosted him like a cake with mayonnaise, cut carrots into matchsticks for whiskers, gave him green olives with pimento sliced for the eyes, the end of the olive for a nose, and then shaped the matchstick carrots to look like a smile. I even surrounded him with beautiful green lettuce to look like he just came from the garden! I was so proud when I first made him, and when the kids were young, they thought it was the best thing on the table—until they turned 10 years old and they gave him his official name, "the stupid-looking lame bunny."
Stupid or not, I still make that bunny as a matter of principle, and we all get a kick out of it! At least my grandchildren, who are 3 and 7, think he's amazing. My older grandchildren? Not so much.
If you, like my older grandchildren, are not sold on the idea of the "stupid-looking lame bunny," I have many other ideas for how to use your boiled Easter eggs!
- Sliced eggs in fresh salads, especially spinach with crisp pancetta and Greek feta
- Egg salad sandwiches on rye bread with Dijon mustard, avocado slices and radish sprouts
- Sliced eggs with crisp bacon, lettuce, tomato in a croissant
- Egg salad on a toasted English muffin with Muenster cheese and fresh basil
- Toasted baguette with sliced eggs, spinach, sliced avocado, red onions (sliced thin) and Dijon mustard
- Seven-grain bread with egg salad, watercress and cucumbers
- Egg salad on toasted egg bread with anchovies
- Egg salad on sourdough with prosciutto and wild arugula
- Egg salad panini sandwich with pepper jack cheese
- Open-face egg salad sandwich on toasted bread with Dijon mustard, two slices of sharp cheddar cheese melted under broiler till bubbly and melted, served with bread-and-butter pickles on the side
Our entire Easter dinner menu:
- The three different versions of lamb
- Orzo pasta with shallot vinaigrette and feta cheese
- Roasted red potatoes with olive oil and rosemary
- Grilled asparagus with reduced balsamic glaze
- Fresh garden peas with melted butter and chopped mint
- "Stupid-looking lame bunny" egg salad
- Deviled eggs
- Greek salad
- Assorted fresh baked breads
- Rice pudding
- Assorted cookies and Greek sweets
Sending a big Easter basket of love,