This year, Eastern Orthodox Easter will be celebrated on Sunday, April 8th. It is the highlight of the Eastern church calendar, which ends the Lenten Fast. Everyone gathers with friends and family for sumptuous feasts, which usually includes a lamb dish. For dessert, Orthodox families share a sweet Paskha bread cake, baked with dyed Easter eggs. Consider some of these easy recipes for an Orthodox Easter brunch.
Greek children dye red Easter eggs, to commemorate the blood of the Crucifixion. Instead of using artificial dyes, make your red Easter eggs the traditional way: with onion skins! Boil yellow onion skins in a vinegar solution, and it creates a dye that will turn your boiled eggs various shades of red. Use them for decoration or a lovely Paskha bread.
No Orthodox Easter brunch would be complete without the traditional Paskha loaf, which the Greeks call tsoureki. It is a delightful yeast bread that is infused with orange and mahlab, a Mediterranean spice derived from wild cherry pits. The dough is braided and gets a red egg in it before baking. Serve it with a sweet cream cheese spread.
Delight the palates of your family and guests with this refreshing soup appetizer from Greece. As you stew the chicken, veggies, and fragrant herbs, they create a delicate, flavorful broth. The orzo is cooked in the broth, along with a thickener of eggs and fresh lemon zest.
Introduce your family to the succulent taste of lamb, which is a common protein in Middle Eastern cuisine. This Greek-inspired recipe features a bone-in leg of lamb that is marinated overnight in wine, citrus juices, and aromatic herbs. The meat is surrounded with potato wedges and roasted in a savory sauce. It is a lovely dish for Orthodox Easter.
If your family is having roast lamb for Orthodox Easter, why not consider these crispy-tender roast potatoes as a side? Coat potato wedges in a savory Greek blend of olive oil, lemon juice, chicken broth, and spices. As they bake in the oven, they get a satisfying crunch on the outside, with a fluffy potato inside. Garnish your potatoes with a few sprigs of orgeano before serving.
When you visit a Greek restaurant, you will often find spanakopita, a savory pie made with buttery filo dough, spinach, and tangy feta cheese. Try this simple recipe for authentic Greek spanakopita. The spinach is lightly sautéed with onions and spices, and is layered with a hearty ricotta mixture between layers of filo. It bakes to a gorgeous golden brown, and can be cut into squares or pie slices.
While the Paskha loaf is usually reserved for dessert, you may want a denser Greek bread to serve with the other courses of your brunch. This hearty bread has a consistency like sourdough bread, with a sweet kiss of honey. Serve your guests slices of this delightfully crusty bread to dip into the flavorful meat juices of the roast lamb.
About Chef Robert
My food philosophy is simple; food should be a feast of all five senses. Meals should be based on simple, tasty and smart recipes that are easy to follow. Instead of serving processed junk, I prefer to use fresh & seasonal ingredients. I gravitate towards all cuisines that are BIG on flavor. By cooking at home, we can all eat healthier and save money.