To those who celebrate, Happy Easter!
Every year we get together for Easter, but the menu always changes. Ham is usually the main dish (but not always), and the sides and dessert always varies.
My Mom usually hosts Easter at her house. She loves to be in charge and make the entire menu, but she sometimes lets me bring one dish if I insist enough. Since we have an abundance of garden fresh asparagus right in our backyard, I talked her into letting me bring a dish that includes this garden goodness.
After an Ezekiel english muffin and a cup of coffee, I headed outside to the garden to pick today’s asparagus.
Some of the stalks had grown quite tall, and I had to snap off the woody bottoms, but most were perfect for the picking. If you’ve never picked fresh asparagus, it can be a juicy job. When you snap the asparagus off, a little juice comes out and can squirt you if you are not careful.
Since I was making the dish at home and transporting it over an hour, I decided to go with a chilled asparagus salad dish and took a gamble on a recipe that I’ve never tried. It was a success!
The close-up money shot…
The asparagus is cooked in boiling water for 10 minutes (I only did 5 minutes) and chilled with a dressing of balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic. I used less sugar (although the recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon). It is served over a lettuce green of your choice (I went with chopped spinach) topped with diced roasted red pepper, hard-boiled egg & green onion. This is a great dish to transport and assemble once you get to your destination. I prepped everything in zip-loc baggies and put it all into a soft cooler with ice packs and assembled it on the plate once I got there. Since this dish is served cold (or room temp), there is no need to fight the hostess for an oven or microwave.
In case you want to try making this, the recipe is simply named Asparagus Salad by Debbwl on Food.com.
I didn’t measure the ingredients, and used 3 hard-boiled eggs. I also left out the parsley as I didn’t have fresh, and it was plenty colorful and flavorful without.
My Mom did a wonderful job with everything else (as always) and impressed with sugar snap peas with leeks and pancetta.
It was a toss up between lamb chops and ham, and this year she went with a honey-baked spiral ham. We’ve never had one of these before (even though they have been around for years).
We also had twice-baked potatoes, deviled eggs, rolls and brown sugar apples (not shown).
Dessert was pineapple carrot cake, and a grand cake it was!
Double-layer, with loads of cream cheese frosting.
I have been trying to stay away from stuff loaded with sugar like this, but she went through all the trouble to make it, and it looked wonderful so I had a big slice. She insisted it was “healthy” because it had carrots (vegetables) and pineapple (fruit) in it. Yeah Mom, right. Super healthy. For a day, I’ll pretend it is healthy.
Even though I am decades beyond the whole Easter Bunny thing, my Mom still likes to make us adult Easter baskets.
This year it was a garden & food theme. Gardening gloves, weed picker, organic lettuce seeds, sunflower seeds, colander, utensils, dish towels, a cooking magazine and some candy thrown in for fun.
She even made an Easter basket for the dog.
He loved getting new treats and a toy.
I tell her we are too old for Easter baskets, but she likes to put together gifts like this once in awhile. I am glad that there were only a few candy items, and most were practical, awesome things that we can and will use for gardening and cooking! So thoughtful.
I always love hearing what other people have for their holiday meals, what did you have today? Do you have annual Easter traditions, or you stray from the norm and try new things each year?