Our traditional Easter dinner is looking a little different this year.
My beloved first born’s birthday happens to fall on Easter Sunday, so we’re shifting things around to make space for both special occasions. My sister-in-law is hosting a multi-family dinner on the Saturday night of the holiday weekend, and I’m taking on Easter brunch the next day, reserving dinner later that night for Ben’s birthday celebration.
Seeing as he’s in charge of the menu that evening, I imagine we’ll be dining on pulled pork, poutine, and donuts for dessert, a decidedly un-Easter meal if there ever was one. In an effort to make up for it, I’m planning a buffet of seasonal spring foods for the brunch earlier in the day.
Because we have a birthday and an egg hunt to keep us busy that morning, my menu is mostly make-ahead and extremely simple. I’m opting for cheesy quiche, colourful salads, fresh fruit, sticky cinnamon buns, and roasted asparagus with toasted breadcrumbs.
It’s a fairly traditional meal and allows those at the table to mix their sweet and savoury baked goods with a healthy dose of colour and nutrition, thanks to the fresh produce that will accompany the heavier offerings. Of all the dishes I’m planning to make, it’s the asparagus that I’m most looking forward to eating.
I’ve recently discovered that serving any vegetable with a topping of toasted breadcrumbs wins me many points with my kids. Anything typically relegated to the place reserved for that which is despised (these days that includes asparagus, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts) has been given a second chance when in comes to the table cloaked in crispy bits. Can you blame them? I’m just as smitten with serving my veggies this way and love the crunch that accompanies the otherwise tender texture.
It’s certain to be a welcome addition to our holiday table this year. For a simple variation on the recipe, and to allow the recipe to stand on it’s own as a simple meal, cover the breadcrumb topping with chopped hardboiled egg and a little feta cheese for quick dinner that’s worthy of your busy spring weeknights (hello, baseball and soccer, I’m talking to you).
|Roasted Asparagus with Buttery Lemon Breadcrumbs|| |
- 2lbs. (about 2 bunches) asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a rack in the top third of the oven.
- Arrange the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle the oil over top. Season with lemon pepper and salt and toss with your hands, ensuring each spear is coated with oil.
- Spread the asparagus in a single layer and roast for 12-15 minutes or until the spears are tender and slightly blistered. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the stalks. Transfer to a serving platter.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the panko and cook, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are golden brown and toasted, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Check the seasonings and adjust, if needed.
- Top the asparagus with the toasted breadcrumbs and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges, if desire.
Tell me, what’s on your holiday menu this weekend? I’d love to know!