Creating a memorable and festive Easter Sunday get-together
A colorful crudité table is a great way to welcome family and friends
Spring marks the start of entertaining’s high season—maybe even more so after the winter we’ve had this year. To get inspiration for easy-but-elegant celebrations, we talked to Michael and Gallia Batt at Food Design, caterers to Ron Howard’s family and other Greenwich VIPs. Depending on the time of the meal, their Easter menus center around classics, such as roasted leg of lamb with minted aioli or an herb- and mustard-crusted Colorado rack of lamb, or their signature boneless short ribs of beef with horseradish crème. With fresh vegetables like baby asparagus and peas coming into the farmers’ market, these ingredients play a starring role, as do beautiful flowers and linens. Other elegant, edible touches:
“You want something bright that makes you forget about winter,” says Gallia. She elevates organic crudité by grouping baby carrots, sugar snap peas, yellow wax beans, cauliflower and radishes into glass apothecary jars and serving them with green goddess dip or an Italian bagna cauda. It’s a simple starter but “when people see the beautiful presentation, they always want to do it.”
Colored eggs filled with candy may be the highlight for kids, but adults appreciate the delicate hues and flavor of farm-fresh eggs, which have beautiful orange yolks. Some families in backcountry have their own chicken coops now, including the Howards. “We’ll collect their eggs and use them for quiches,” says Gallia. Source your own farm-fresh eggs from local farm stands.
“We’re seeing trends toward gluten-free, vegan and ‘live’ food,” Gallia notes. You can plan gluten-free and vegan dishes to serve as mains for those who prefer them and sides for others. “Many people don’t realize that risotto is gluten-free and also very filling,” she says. Other choices include a spinach and lentil shepherd’s pie, spring vegetable curry, organic quinoa with baby vegetables.
Sweeten the Meal
What’s better than a chocolate bunny? A fountain of the sweet stuff with sponge cake, strawberries and marshmallows for dipping. “Kids love to do the chocolate fountains and so do adults,” says Gallia. Mini desserts are also popular for bite-sized indulgence.