Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes one ingredient at a time.
Today I am going to divert from my usual format. There will be no history of Easter, history of Easter brunch, or even an analysis of "what is brunch?" The purpose of this article is solely to present a list of tried-and-true recipes from which you can pick and choose to assemble an Easter brunch menu that's right for you.
The Carb Diva family is 50 percent vegetarian; I will be honest and admit that I have never prepared a leg of lamb (nor do I really care to), but I've baked a few hams in my day and fresh salmon is one of my best friends, so you will see recipes for them below.
So let's get started.
15 Delicious Recipes for Easter Brunch
- Deviled Eggs
- Chickpea Crostini
- Greek Spinach Dip
- Velvety Lemon Chicken Soup
- Creamy Spring Onion Soup
- Triple Tomato Soup
- Rice Spinach Salad
- Spinach Salad with Feta and Couscous Cakes
- Rosemary Chicken Salad
- Salmon with Crab and Citrus Sauce
- Slow-Cooker Honey-Glazed Ham
- Springtime Pasta Primavera
- Carb Diva's Carrot Cake
- Lemon Macaroon Pie
- Carb Diva's Rainbow Fruit Parfait
Read More From Delishably
Carb Diva's Deviled Eggs
What is Easter without dyed eggs? And, when life gives you these beautiful little colored orbs, make deviled eggs. This recipe is nothing fancy—just creamy, tangy deviled eggs from my kitchen.
- 6 hard-cooked eggs (see side text for instructions on how to cook)
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow (not Dijon or grainy) mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- grinding of fresh black pepper
- The first step is to cook those eggs so that they are easy to peel. You will find many ideas on the internet for "the perfect egg", but the method I provide is the only one that will ensure that your eggs are picture-perfect.
- When the eggs are cooled, remove the shells. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. Set the whites aside.
- Mash the yolks. Stir in Greek yogurt, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves. Or, if you are feeling particularly festive, you can pipe the filling into the egg halves. Don't have a piping bag? No problem; spoon the yolk mixture into a zip-lock sandwich bag. Press to remove air and then seal tight. Snip one corner from the bottom, and—presto—you have an instant piping bag.
How to Make Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs
Don't boil them . . . steam them.
- You must use a pot that is large enough to hold a steamer basket/insert, and has a tight-fitting lid. Place enough water in the pot to come up just below the bottom of the steamer.
- Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
- Place the eggs in the steamer, lower into the pot, cover, and turn the heat to the lowest setting possible.
- Wait 14 minutes. Don't peek!!
- In the last 2 minutes of cooking, prepare an ice water bath for your eggs. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice, and then cold tap water.
- When the 14 minutes of cooking are up, carefully remove the eggs from the steamer and place in the ice water bath.
- Let sit until cooled (about 15 minutes). Now, you should be able to crack the eggs and find that the shells slip off easily.
Tangy Chickpea Crostini
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 loaf crusty bread of your choice (a French baguette would be perfect!)
- Place all ingredients except the olive oil and bread in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
- While the processor is running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream. Taste for seasoning.
- Let sit at room temperature for one hour before serving (this allows the flavors to blend).
- Toast slices of bread and top with chickpea mixture.
Greek Spinach Dip
This easy recipe from the kitchen of Sunset Magazine has all of the flavors you enjoy in spanokopita. I love the bright tang of lemon juice and fresh dill.
Carb Diva's Velvety Lemon Chicken Soup
I created this soup several years ago as an appetizer for our wedding anniversary celebration. It is light but flavorful and would be a perfect amuse-bouche for your meal.
- 1 small lemon
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Garnish (2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley and 2 tablespoons fresh dill weed)
- Cut two 2-inch strips of lemon peel (zest only—not the white pith which is bitter) from the lemon. Place in medium saucepan.
- Squeeze 1 teaspoon fresh juice from lemon and set aside.
- Add broth to the saucepan.
- Cover and simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes.
- Remove zest.
- In a second saucepan, heat the butter over low heat; when the foam subsides stir in the flour.
- Cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes.
- Gradually add warm broth and cream, whisking constantly, until soup is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice; add garnish and salt and pepper to taste.
Creamy Spring Onion Soup
Spring onions, tender leeks, garlic ramps—all of these speak to me of springtime. This lovely, pale-green soup from Food & Wine magazine would be a lovely first course or part of a light lunch or brunch.
Triple Tomato Soup
- Two 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup sundried tomatoes, (not oil-packed)
- 1/2 of a 6-ounce can tomato paste
- One 14-ounce can chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Stilton cheese (or blue cheese of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 450˚F.
- Strain canned tomatoes, reserving the juices.
- Spread the canned tomatoes on large baking sheet; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Roast in oven about until caramelized, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sauté onion, celery, and garlic in a large saucepan, with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the roasted canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, sun-dried tomatoes, broth, sage, and bay leaf.
- Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf.
- Puree soup in the pot with immersion blender until smooth.
- Stir in chopped parsley and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with crumbled cheese.
I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that is about as old as dirt (maybe older). Within those yellowed pages is a recipe for a Rice-Spinach Salad that my family has enjoyed for years.
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
- 3 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled (we use turkey bacon)
- Soy Sauce Dressing (see below)
Soy Sauce Dressing
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Rinse frozen spinach under cold running water to separate; drain thoroughly.
- Mix spinach and remaining ingredients except dressing.
- Pour Soy Sauce Dressing over rice mixture; toss.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Spinach Salad With Feta and Couscous Cakes
For the couscous cakes:
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cold cooked couscous
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the salad:
- 8 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried (about 6 lightly packed cups)
- One 14-ounce can artichoke bottoms, drained, rinsed, and sliced
- 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ounce crumbled feta (about 1/4 cup)
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and 1 tsp. salt and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Stir in the couscous, salt, eggs, and lemon zest and mix well.
- Line a ¼-cup measuring cup with plastic wrap.
- Press some of the couscous mixture into the cup, smooth the top, and then invert the measuring cup to release the cake onto a plate. Repeat. You should have about eight couscous cakes.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add four of the couscous cakes.
- Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Remove to paper-towel-lined pan.
- Repeat with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and remaining four couscous cakes.
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, yogurt, mint, and honey. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the salad, toss the spinach, artichokes and tomatoes in a large bowl with about three-fourths of the dressing. Season to taste and divide among four salad plates. Top each salad with two couscous cakes. Sprinkle each salad with feta and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Rosemary-Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups
Nikki is the photographer and recipe developer for the food blog TastyThin. Her rosemary-chicken salad is light and fresh and healthy. Use your own pre-cooked chicken, deli chicken or turkey, or leftover rotisserie chicken. Her recipe calls for a specific mayonnaise to conform to a Paleo diet, but any mayo of your choice (or Greek yogurt) can be substituted.
Cedar-Planked Salmon With Crab and Citrus Beurre Blanc
The Dockside Grill in Sequim, Washington, provides an amazing menu of local, seasonal, house-made foods. Chef/Owner Steve Little shared the following recipe with Sunset Magazine:
- 4 pieces wild salmon fillet (6 to 8 ounces each, and at least 2 inches wide)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons paprika-based barbeque rub
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces Dungeness crab meat (carefully picked over and cleaned)
- Citrus Beurre Blanc (recipe below)
Citrus Beurre Blanc
- 2 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon each lemon, lime, and orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt and white pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Soak cedar plank in warm water at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 450˚F.
- Rub salmon with olive oil and barbeque rub; set on plank, skin-side down.
- Roast directly on oven rack 8 to 12 minutes, or until almost opaque.
- Melt butter in medium frying pan over medium-low heat. Add crab and heat until warm.
- Top each salmon piece with some crab and drizzle with beurre blanc.
- In medium saucepan, whisk together wine, juices, shallots and heavy cream; season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally, and boil until reduced by half.
- Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, a tablespoon at a time. Immediately remove from heat.
Slow-Cooker Honey-Glazed Ham
You can spend a small fortune buying a honey-glazed ham at the deli, or you can use Holly's recipe, which cooks a spiral ham for your family in the crockpot. So easy and so flavorful, with a sweet-spicy glaze of butter, honey, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Springtime Pasta Primavera
The following recipe is from Epicurious.com.
- 12 ounces farfalle pasta
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup haricots verts (thin tender green beans), ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup thin asparagus tips and stalks, sliced in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh peas
- 1/2 cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 seeded and diced ripe plum tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and quickly sauté the vegetables until just tender. Do not overcook.
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the half-and-half and cook to thicken the sauce, about 5 minutes.
- Season well with pepper.
- Toss in the drained pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Garnish with diced tomatoes and chives or pea shoots, if available.
- Serve immediately.
Carb Diva's Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups shredded carrots, raw
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Grease and flour a 9x13-inch cake pan.
- Sift together the first 6 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) and set aside. Place the sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix together with a spoon.
- Add the dry (flour) mixture, and then stir in the carrots, coconut, walnuts, and pineapple.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool and frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.
What makes this recipe work?
- The addition of applesauce serves two purposes. First, it substitutes for some of the cooking oil. Second, the acid of the apples reacts with the baking soda to provide more lift (leavening) to this dense cake batter.
- Flaked coconut and pineapple provide some natural sweetness.
- Chopped walnuts contribute texture and a satisfying crunch.
Lemon Macaroon Pie
This vintage recipe from the files of Epicurious combines two of my favorite pies—lemon and coconut. The crust is a tender shortbread and the filling is sweet and creamy.
Carb Diva's Rainbow Fruit Parfait
- One 3 3/4-ounce package instant pudding mix (vanilla or lemon)
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup milk
- One 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice
- 1 cup canned mandarin orange segments, drained
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
- Whipped topping
- Drain the canned pineapple; reserve 1/2 cup of the juice. Reserve 8 of the prettiest strawberries. Slice the remaining strawberries and set aside.
- In blender container or food processor combine dry pudding mix, softened cream cheese, milk, and the 1/2 cup pineapple juice. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Divide the drained pineapple among 8 dessert/parfait glasses.
- Spoon or pipe about 1/4 cup of the cream cheese mixture over the pineapple in each glass.
- Repeat this layering process with the orange sections, followed by cream cheese, the sliced strawberries, and more cream cheese mixture.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until serving time.
- Garnish each parfait with the whipped topping and one perfect strawberry.
© 2016 Linda Lum