Celebrate the day with a menu that says spring: Easy glazed salmon, the season's first tender asparagus, and a lemony cake fit the bill.

Updated March 03, 2020
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Credit: Anna Wiliiams

The trick to easy Easter entertaining? Turning your dinner into a buffet and letting your guests help themselves. The marvelous menu featured below is comprised of dishes that taste equally delicious warm or at room temperature, and many of the steps can be completed in advance. For this combination of recipes, the main event is a whole side of salmon, cut up into eight succulent fillets and broiled with a four-ingredient glaze: shallots, red-wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar. The recipe is so versatile, it can easily be doubled if you're expecting more guests, and the glaze works just as well with other kinds of fish, such as striped bass or halibut.

Supporting players include crisp-tender asparagus and green beans tossed with homemade chili-orange oil and fresh basil, fuss-free dinner rolls made with store-bought pizza dough, and sweet red onions broiled with balsamic vinegar. For a lovely understated Easter finale, serve a bright lemon cake with raspberries and freshly whipped cream. Follow our make-ahead schedule and the preparation process and the day-of timeline will be a breeze. Bonus tip: We've even got your centerpiece covered—simply pile all those eggs you dyed into a beautiful glass trifle dish.

Credit: Anna Wiliiams

Main: Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

The broiler works wonders on salmon, turning the fillets succulent in a flash. Our Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze tastes best served alongside peppery watercress and lemon wedges.

Credit: Anna Williams

Side: Asparagus and Green Beans with Chili-Orange Oil

Asparagus and Green Beans with Chili-Orange Oil make for a bright, appetizing side. Create the flavored oil and then blanch the vegetables in advance so that this dish comes together in just minutes on the day of.

Credit: Anna Wiliiams

Side: Balsamic Red Onions

The broiler is the MVP of this meal. The high heat gives thick rounds of red onions a nice char, while balsamic vinegar amps up their natural sweetness. A sprinkling of fresh parsley adds the perfect pop of green.

Credit: Anna Williams

Bread: Salt and Pepper Rolls

You won't be able to put these Salt and Pepper Rolls down. You'll also love that they feature a surprisingly short ingredient list: pizza dough, olive oil, salt, and pepper. The results are phenomenal. You can also play with different seasonings here, like crushed fennel seeds or red-pepper flakes for an extra kick.

Credit: Anna Williams

Dessert: Simple Lemon Cake

Whole lemons are the base of this rich, citrusy Lemon Cake batter. Precooking the fruit removes the pucker and makes for an intensely flavored cake that everyone at your Easter dinner will love.

Credit: Anna Williams

The Schedule

Up to one day ahead, prep and blanch asparagus and green beans. Next, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet before covering and placing in the refrigerator. Make salmon glaze and chili-orange oil; let both cool before refrigerating separately in airtight containers. You can also form the rolls before covering and refrigerating. Last but not least, make the lemon cake. Once it's cool, wrap it tightly in plastic and store it at room temperature.

Three hours before you're ready to serve dinner, bring the salmon glaze, chili-orange oil, and rolls to room temperature; let the latter rise before seasoning and baking. Dust your cake with confectioners' sugar. Thirty minutes before it's time to eat, broil onions and then let sit at room temperature. Next, glaze and broil the salmon. Meanwhile, cook green beans and asparagus.

Watch Everyday Food host Sarah Carey make the glorious glazed salmon:

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