We’re all about celebrating holiday traditions around the world, especially through food, and Easter is no exception. While we can’t claim authenticity, we can pay homage to these festive feasts with our own delicious recipes. This Easter, we’re taking our dinner menu cues from Greece, which means lamb has to be the main event. Our version is roasted with garlic, oregano, and cinnamon and served with yogurt sauce, lemony herbed potatoes, and a colorful vegetable sauté. Kick off the evening with a lovely springtime take on the Greek egg-and-lemon soup known as avgolomeno, then close out the meal with flaky baklava and subtly sweet olive-oil biscuits.
Main: Roasted Lamb with Garlic and Oregano
In Greece, the Thursday before Easter is called Great Thursday, and it’s the day when the spring lambs are slaughtered and hung in anticipation of the Sunday feast. Here, it’s the day you should place your leg of lamb order with the butcher. Once you bring it home, rub the meat with a flavorful paste pureed in the blender (just garlic, olive oil, oregano, and cinnamon) before roasting. Gussy up plain yogurt with fresh parsley and more cinnamon for the accompanying sauce.
To Start: Pea, Lemon, and Egg-Drop Soup
Fresh garden peas and their sweet tendrils lighten up this comforting five-ingredient soup (not including salt and pepper, of course). Lemon zest in addition to the usual juice is added for brightness, and instead of being used to thicken the chicken broth, the eggs are swirled in to form delicate strands.
Side: Roasted Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon
Fresh oregano rather than dried is the thing here—bite-size fingerlings are roasted with the sprigs until golden and fragrant. A squeeze of lemon just before serving perks up the whole dish.
Side: Spring Vegetable Ragout
It couldn’t be easier to throw this vibrant side together. Adding the leeks, asparagus, snap peas, and radishes at different intervals when sautéing makes sure each vegetable is perfectly cooked. Finish with a touch of butter and Dijon and a handful of fresh herbs.
Dessert: Pistachio Baklava
Phyllo, the paper-thin pastry dough used in so much of Greek cooking, is essential to this dessert. Instead of layering sheets with nuts the traditional way, try our shortcut method: cut the phyllo into ribbons, toss with the filling, and press into your baking dish. Pro tip: keep your phyllo in the fridge until just before you're ready to use; when the dough is spread out in the open air, it quickly becomes dry and cracked.
Dessert: Olive-Oil Biscuits
No dairy here! Olive oil stands in for butter in these crunchy circular cookies flavored with lemon, white pepper, and two types of seeds—sesame and fennel.
Watch how to make pea, lemon, and egg-drop soup, aka our spring avgolemono: