Vegetarian Easter Menu: Celebrate spring and rebirth
Out of the three menus I was assigned to write for ZisBoomBah’s Easter posts, I was most excited about the vegetarian menu. The gauntlet was dropped and the challenge lay before me: come up with a tasty meatless alternative meal for a holiday that traditionally rejoices in the consumption of meat after a long Lenten fast.
Luckily, this challenge has been conquered by many a brave vegetarian warrior before me. We live in a wonderfully multicultural country with many vegetarian traditions. And after the long winter, new spring fruit and vegetable crops have arrived and are begging to be used for the Easter table. It’s a cornucopia of offerings, and I am here to help you pick and choose the right dishes for your family’s celebration.
Use this menu as a guide, and feel free to try any of these recipes in an Easter feast—with or without meat. I have marked the recipes that are also vegan, but most include dairy, because of the egg’s huge significance at Easter.
Do you have a favorite vegetarian Easter recipe you love to cook? We would be thrilled for you to share your recipes and traditions with the ZisBoomBah community. Please post your comments or email us.
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Vegetarian Easter Dinner for 6
Crudite with Green Onion Yogurt Dip
Spring Fruit Salad
Assorted Butter Cookies
Bruschetta with Roasted Garlic White Bean Puree
The white bean puree is vegan. If you are unsure if your bread contains eggs or milk, use pita chips.
Based on a recipe by Rick Tramonto
- 8 ½-inch thick slices crusty sourdough bread
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 12-ounce cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup prepared roasted garlic puree
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
For the bruschetta:
- Preheat oven to broiler setting.
- Cut bread slices in half and brush both sides generously with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Broil bread, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
For the White Bean Puree:
- In blender, puree beans, garlic puree, tahini, lemon juice, and ¼ cup water until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread bruschetta slices with bean puree and arrange on a platter. Drizzle top with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley.
Mixed Greens with Triple Citrus Dressing
This delicious, snappy dressing is the perfect counterpoint to bitter greens.
- 6 cups assorted baby salad greens
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Wash and dry greens with a salad spinner. Place in a salad serving bowl; set aside.
- Grind the cashews to a fine meal in a spice or coffee grinder and transfer to a blender.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend, starting on low speed. Switch to high speed and blend for 1 minute, until smooth.
- Drizzle dressing lightly over greens; toss thoroughly to coat. Refrigerate leftover dressing for up to 1 week.
The egg dish in this Easter menu is a simple, but elegant Italian frittata.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups mix of 3 types of mushrooms, sliced, such as oyster, crimini, porcini, portabella, shiitake
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon light cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat until shimmery. Add mushrooms, in batches if necessary. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs with salt to taste, scallions, cream, lemonzest, and cayenne. Pour over the mushrooms in pan over medium heat. With an heat-resistant spatula, lift and settle eggs in the pan as they brown on the bottom. When the eggs are set but remain uncooked on top, transfer to oven for 7 or 8 minutes, until frittata is golden brown and puffy. Sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven for 2 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden. Remove from oven.
- Carefully slide spatula around edges of pan to loosen frittata. Slide off onto a serving platter and cut into 6 slices at the table.
Asparagus With Morels and Tarragon
Spring asparagus is so tender and flavorful, a sure sign spring has sprung. This recipe is elegant enough for your Easter table and simple to make. If you cannot find dried morels, try dried porcini.
Based on a recipe from Mark Bittman.
- ½ ounce dried morels
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
- ½ cup chopped shallots
- 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
- 1½ pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Put morels in a medium glass bowl with very hot water to cover; soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain morels over a fine mesh sieve and reserve soaking liquid. Cut morels in half.
- Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat; stir in shallots, morels and button mushrooms to pan. Saute until shallots soften and fresh mushrooms have released their liquid and it has cooked off, about 10 minutes.
- Add asparagus and ½ cup reserved mushroom soaking liquid to pan. Bring liquid to a simmer; cover and reduce heat and continue cooking for another 2 to 4 minutes, until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add cream and tarragon and cook, uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly and asparagus is tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Easter Potato Bread
I didn’t realize how popular potato bread was on Easter until I noticed it popping up everywhere on Easter menus and tables. Here’s a simple recipe that uses leftover mashed potatoes to save time.
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 cup butter
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup prepared mashed potatoes
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 7 to 8 cups bread flour
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, butter, sugar and salt to a low simmer. Remove from heat and pour into large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in cold water bring temperature to lukewarm.
- When milk mixture is the right temperature, sprinkle over yeast. Let stand 2 minutes, then stir in completely. Let stand 5 minutes until foamy.
- With the dough hook attachment to the stand mixer, stir mashed potatoes and beaten eggs into yeast mixture. Slowly add flour and mix until a soft dough is formed, about 5 minutes. Continue beating until dough is shiny and elastic and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes, or knead bread by hand on a lightly floured work surface.
- Place dough back in bowl, cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch down dough and knead for 5 minutes. Shape dough into 3 loaves and place in 3 lightly oiled bread pans. Cover loaves and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F. Place loaves in oven and bake for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bread sounds hollow when tapped on.
- Remove bread from pans and cool on rack. Serve warm with butter and jam.
Rhubarb Tart with Orange Glaze
What better way to celebrate spring than with the first crop of rhubarb! This sweet-tart recipe uses prepared puff pastry to save time.
Based on a recipe from Gourmet.
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ pound rhubarb stalks, cut diagonally into ⅛-inch slices
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
- Vanilla ice cream
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a medium nonreactive bowl, mix in orange juice, lime juice, and sugar. Add rhubarb and let stand, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut pastry in half lengthwise. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each piece into an 11 x 7-inch rectangle with a floured rolling pin. Arrange pastry rectangles side by side on an ungreased large baking sheet.
- Make a ½-inch border around each pastry rectangle by lightly scoring a line parallel to each edge (do not cut all the way through). Prick pastry inside border all over with a fork.
- Strain rhubarb mixture through a sieve set over a bowl, reserving liquid. Top 1 pastry rectangle (within border) with half of rhubarb, overlapping slices slightly. Repeat with remaining pastry and rhubarb. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring reserved rhubarb liquid to a simmer, skimming foam if necessary, until reduced to about ¼ cup, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Transfer tarts to a rack. Brush rhubarb and pastry with glaze and sprinkle with zest. Let cool to warm and serve with vanilla ice cream.
KIDS CAN: Kids can help roll out puff pastry dough and spoon on the rhubarb.