Greek Easter recipes

Mar 16, 2009 at 11:54 a.m. ET

If you're looking for a different way to celebrate Easter this year, think about going Greek! A traditional Greek Easter celebration includes some fantastic tastes and flavor combinations. The centerpiece dish is lamb, making a Greek feast the perfect way to celebrate springtime and the Easter holiday at the same time. Other traditional dishes include Dill Lemon Soup, Potatoes with Olives, and Green Beans with Feta. And for dessert, a delicious Orange and Honey Walnut Cake. It's a meal right out of Athens, for sure!

Leg of Lamb

Greek Easter recipes

Garlic and Oregano Roasted Leg of Lamb

Serves 8Ingredients:
1 leg of lamb (about 9 lbs., boned) (Ask your butcher to bone and butterfly it)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepperDirections:
1. Put lamb in roasting pan with the boned side up. Drizzle oil over meat, sprinkle remaining ingredients over meat. Rub oil and seasonings into the meat. Cover pan and refrigerate 4 hours or up to overnight.2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place lamb on a rack in the roasting pan. Roast until meat thermometer reads 130 degrees F. for medium-rare, about 30 to 45 minutes in most ovens (cover with foil if the outside of lamb starts browning too much). Remove lamb, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.

Dill Lemon Soup

Serves 8Ingredients:
2 quarts beef or chicken stock
3/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup rice, uncooked
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepperDirections:
1. Heat stock to boiling in a large pan. Mix together 2 tablespoons scallions and 1 tablespoon dill in small bowl, set aside. Stir remaining scallions and dill, rice, and salt into stock. Cover, reduce heat, and cook until rice is done, about 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat.2. Whisk egg yolks and 4 tablespoons lemon juice together in small mixing bowl, then gradually whisk in 1 cup hot soup. Stir egg mixture back into soup. Stir in reserved scallion mixture and pepper. Add more lemon juice if desired.

Potatoes and Greek Olives

Serves 8Ingredients:
2 pounds small new potatoes, scrubbed
2/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepperDirections:
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes and olives to boiling water. Boil until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, return to pot. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Heat over low heat for a minute or two. Serve hot.

Green Beans with Feta

Serves 8Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1 (35-ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained, chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepperDirections:
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat oil and garlic in large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add beans and tomatoes, stirring to coat with oil. Cover and cook until beans are crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to 2-quart casserole dish and stir in feta. Bake until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Orange and Honey Walnut Cake

Serves 8Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup milk, warmed
Zest of one orange
Juice of the orange
1/4 cup honey
Walnut halves and orange slices for garnishDirections:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Place butter and sugar in mixer bowl, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Combine flour, nuts, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Stir flour and milk alternately into batter, then stir in orange zest.2. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack. Stir orange juice and honey together until smooth, then pour over warm cake.3. Allow cake to sit while orange honey mixture soaks in. Garnish with walnut halves and orange slices after placing on a serving platter.

More Easter recipes

Easter feast menu
Recipes for Easter lamb leftovers
Easter brunch
Easter desserts