Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...
Ham -- it's what's for Easter. But it doesn't always have to be. Celebrate this year with an herb-crusted rack of lamb that takes just minutes to prep. Serve with celery-root mashed potatoes and spring asparagus with a tomato vinaigrette, and it will be an Easter everyone will remember for years.
Herb-crusted rack of lamb recipe
1 (3- to 4-pound) rack of lamb roast
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut thin slits in the roast and insert the garlic slices. In a small bowl combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper and thyme. Rub the roast with the oil mixture. Coat evenly with rosemary and marjoram. Place the roast on the roasting rack in a shallow pan. Place in the oven and reduce heat to 325° F. Roast 30 minutes.
Remove lamb from the oven. Loosely cover the lamb; let it stand 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Celery-root mashed potatoes recipe
3 pounds new potatoes (about 8)
1 pound celery root (about 2)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Peel the potatoes and celery root; cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
In a Dutch oven, place potatoes and celery root in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Place all in a large bowl.
Add the garlic, butter, milk, cheese, salt, pepper and paprika. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Sprinkle with additional paprika, if desired, and serve.
Spring asparagus recipe with tomato vinaigrette
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 small red onion, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the asparagus to ice water. Drain; pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter.
In a small bowl, stir together the onion, vinegar, oil and 1 tablespoon of the chives. Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste and spoon over the asparagus. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and toasted pine nuts. Serve at room temperature.