An Actually Good Easter Dinner Using Every Cliché in the Book
Photo credit: StockFood. Illustration credit: Jennifer Fox
Sure, you could eat ham for Easter dinner. But you know, while incredibly delicious, it’s pretty played out. There’s something to be said for inverting traditions and going way past the pole of what’s expected—while elevating a cliché into something completely new.
Which is why—bear with us—we’re suggesting you serve the Easter bunny this year. Those ubiquitous eggs? Spin them into a dish you’ve only seen on restaurant menus. You’ll have taken Easter’s trappings and turned them into a basket of delightful surprises. And there’s still room for pastels and Peeps on the table (as there should be!).
We reached out to Chef Anita Lo at New York City restaurant Annisa, for her enormously popular recipe (developed with chef de cuisine Mary Attea) of rabbit stuffed with grape leaves and pistachio. Also on the menu is a springy chawan mushi, a traditional Japanese egg custard.
It’s a bit of effort, but it’s worth it. “Rabbit is very in right now,” says Lo. “It’s sustainable, easy to raise, delicious, and not gamey.” This particular preparation boasts a symphony of different flavors and textures, from the acid of grape leaf and lemon zest (which Lo particularly loves) to the crunch of pistachios and the delicate floral notes of mint.
Chawan mushi can be prepped in advance and has that lovely pale yellow color we associate with Easter. Topped with crab salad and emerald spring peas, and aromatic with shiso leaf, it almost eliminates the need for salad. (We’d still serve some seared or grilled asparagus).
Pair the whole meal with sake, a dry Riesling, or a lemony punch topped with frothed egg whites and Champagne, lending your meal a festive air—whether or not the Easter Bunny joins you for it.
Photo credit: StockFood/Nicolas Leser
Rabbit Stuffed with Grape Leaves and Pistachio, with Yogurt, Mint, and Sunchokes
By Anita Lo and Mary Attea
1 small onion, finely diced
1 cup pistachio, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 bone-out rabbit saddles
3 to 5 sunchokes, cut into 24 1 inch-thick slices
3 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
3 Tbsp mint, sliced very thinly
1 cup whole Greek yogurt
Zest of 1 lemon, microplaned
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste, or to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt and pepper