An Easter Dinner Menu Starring Glazed Ham and Spring Vegetables
A grand ham for Easter is a no-brainer, but how do you make it stand out? A superlative glaze is step one—our spicy-sweet apricot-and-mustard version fits the bill nicely. Just as important are the accompaniments: Whip up a couple of vegetable sides that are simple but elegant. Our first sophisticated supporting player is a gratin-like galette made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, delicate spring leeks, and nutty Gruyere cheese. Next, the season's first asparagus gets a lift from crisp radishes, fresh tarragon, and one of our favorite secret-weapon ingredients: frozen peas. Last but not least, a vanilla cake with raspberry jam filling and meringue frosting nearly upstages the ham—that's right, we're highlighting two showstoppers in one menu.
Ahead, find our curated Easter dinner menu, along with advice on when to prepare every dish.
Main: Glazed Ham with Apricot Mustard Sauce
The meat counter at your market is likely to carry a few different kinds of ham. Choose half a smoked, bone-in ham labeled "fully cooked." In this Glazed Ham with Apricot Mustard Sauce recipe, a country-style ham would be too dry and salty. Once your guests have had their fill, save the bone and leftovers to make our comforting Split Pea Soup for lunch the next day.
Side: Leek-and-Potato Galette
You can prep this pretty Leek-and-Potato Galette a day ahead (time to break out your mandoline), and then bake it at the same time as the ham. Everyone will adore the combination of crispy golden potatoes and ooey-gooey melted cheese.
Side: Asparagus, Peas, and Radishes with Fresh Tarragon
Stalks of early spring asparagus are blanched until crisp-tender the day before Easter, then tossed in a hot skillet along with butter, peas, radishes, and tarragon just before serving in the tasty Asparagus, Peas, and Radishes with Fresh Tarragon recipe.
Dessert: Meringue-Frosted Cake with Raspberry Filling
Raspberry preserves amped up with frozen raspberries are sandwiched between moist layers of yellow cake, then the whole thing is swathed in a cloud-like cloak of meringue in the aptly named Meringue-Frosted Cake with Raspberry Filling.
Up to one day ahead cook, cool, and dry the asparagus before wrapping and placing in the refrigerator. Prepare apricot mustard sauce and cover and refrigerate. Bake cake layers and let cool before wrapping and storing them at room temperature. Now is also the time to peel potatoes before covering with water and refrigerating. Also slice and wash the leeks, as well as grate and refrigerate the cheese.
Six hours before mealtime, bring ham to room temperature. Start baking 2 1/2 hours before serving. Then assemble and bake potato galette 70 to 80 minutes before ham is done.
Just before guests arrive, finish preparing asparagus and peas and carve the ham. Be sure to warm the apricot mustard sauce. Finally, prepare the meringue; fill and frost the cake and brown the top.