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The Cookstr Weekly: Easter Brunch

March 29, 2013

When I was very young, it was an Easter tradition to visit the Easter Bunny at the local mall, as ingrained as Santa at Christmastime (and with less anxiety about meeting strangers, as a giant rabbit seemed worlds more approachable). In one particular preschool year’s exchange, caught on grainy video, I bring the Easter Bunny a daffodil and politely shake her hand before being scooped up into her furry lap and asked “So, what would you like in your Easter basket?”

“Chili beans!” I announced proudly, to a blank bunny stare. “Do you mean jelly beans?” No, I did not. In fact, I was pretty unclear on what exactly a jelly bean was. I was raised in a notably candy-free environment, but my lifelong love of legumes blossomed early. In this menu, that tradition is preserved in a centerpiece of lamb with white beans, flanked with plenty of dishes to celebrate the onset of spring.

Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director
Cookstr

by Sophie Dahl

 

This succulent, bright green soup is just the thing to jolt you out of winter’s creamy casseroles and one-pot dinners and into warmer weather, while the velvety pureed texture still lands it firmly in comfort food territory. Garlic, basil, zucchini: it’s the equivalent of opening the windows wide and letting the springtime air in. Pine nuts and Parmesan in the fresh pesto add umami oomph. 

 

It can be served warm or cold, and makes an excellent first course to Easter brunch. 

More Easter Recipes from Cookstr
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“Borage and dill grew wild around my hometown of Verbicaro in spring, so local cooks would gather these aromatic herbs to fill a pitta, the Calabrian version of stuffed pizza. If they couldn’t find borage, they would use chard from their garden. You don’t often see fresh dill in Italian recipes, but it is traditional in this one.

“Curiously, the greens are not cooked first. They are chopped and mixed with scallions or spring onions and wilted with salt, as if for sauerkraut. The 30-minute salting draws out moisture so that the filling won’t be soggy. Let the pitta cool before slicing so the crusty bread will absorb the flavorful juices from the greens. If you cut it too soon – a big temptation – the juices will run out.

“Although pitta is traditionally made with a chunk of bread dough, I usually make mine with a pizza dough that contains yeast and olive oil.” – Janet Fletcher and Rosetta Constantino

 

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