Easter feast (+recipes)

By Amanda Laird

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It doesn't have to be all about chocolate - here's a spin on the traditional foods served at Easter.

Make the most of a long weekend with wine, chocolate and fantastic Easter dishes. Photo / Babiche Martens
Make the most of a long weekend with wine, chocolate and fantastic Easter dishes. Photo / Babiche Martens

The only type of Easter food that causes excitement in our house is the egg. Not the type used in today's recipe for a traditional Jewish egg salad, mind you, but more along the lines of the chocolate, foil-wrapped variety hidden around the garden for the young - and the not so young - to scramble around and hunt for.

Many families place a lot of importance on the Easter feast and the history involved.

Foods are eaten that represent new life and the beginning of spring. So eggs are painted bright colours and hung in trees, specific breads such as challah are made and lamb is often cooked long and slow until it's divinely fragrant and ready to fall apart as soon as it's touched by a fork.

Traditionally a sacrificial lamb would be slaughtered and eaten in the hope that angels would offer protection, hence the saying the "lamb of God".

Today we use the egg in a Jewish salad with anchovies, mayo and dill. These strong flavours go well with a serving of pumpernickel bread.

A lamb roast follows which has been cooked with olives, wine, orange, garlic and fresh oregano for three or so hours and produces the most amazing aromas wafting through the house.

Finally, of course, chocolate has to be included somewhere.

This biscuit slice, which some people refer to as "chocolate hedgehog", is incredibly rich and best sliced into small pieces so as not to cause discomfort or at least the loosening of belt buckles.

Enjoy your Easter break with a bit of rest and plenty of good food.

- NZ Herald

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