Easter will be a lot different this year – no Easter bonnets, church services with all the Easter Lilies and flowers, little girls dressed up in their finest dresses and hair bows – but we can still enjoy Rack of Lamb. We’ll miss seeing all of that and most of all we’ll miss seeing each other. We have one church in town meeting at our local Drive-In theater with everyone staying in their cars. The rest of us will attend virtual services over the internet.
What’s for dinner?
With everything in the world that has changed in recent weeks, it has made it hard to even think about “what’s for dinner?” I’m one of the fortunate ones who will have my daughter and her family here for Easter dinner, outside on the porch at the proper distance. We still cannot hug any of the grandchildren or our own children which is really, really tough – especially with one little baby just 8 months old who is the cutest thing you ever met in your entire life!!! We will not be able to see our other daughter and her family at all this year. They are in North Carolina and we will have to settle for some facetime. So sad.
The joys of my heart – my daughter Margaret and her daughter Margaret Virginia all dressed up for Easter!
I’ve decided to have a very traditional rack of lamb dinner. Our family all loves it and can cook it outside right on the grill.
This table was designed by my talented and amazing friend Beth Blalock. I think it would be a perfect Easter setting and I love the lemon tree. It looks like a peaceful backyard oasis where one could spend time outside in nature. The sound of the water spilling over the sides of the fountain in the background creates a relaxing atmosphere of pure tranquility. Beth sets the scene for a perfect afternoon in the garden enjoying Easter dinner al fresco.
I always marinate my lamb overnight in the fridge to give it lots of extra flavor.
First I’ll cut some flowers that I discovered on a fence along a dirt road nearby. Easter would not be Easter without at least a few flowers.
Rack of Lamb for Easter!
4 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
11/2 teaspoons dried oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 racks of lamb, drenched and cut into 8 chops each
Place the garlic, rosemary, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoons pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the herbs are finely minced.
Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and red wine and combine. Place the chops in a dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Gently add the marinade to the chops, covering them on both sides. Use some plastic wrap to cover them and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook: prepare the grill and turn it on medium-high heat. Remove the lamb from the marinade, and cover with salt and pepper. Grill about 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a tray and cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. Serve hot.
If you can grow your own herbs, you will love the freshness. In this picture fresh basil is growing strong in the sunshine of early spring. Basil loves the heat of summer – so count on it growing through the summer and on into fall. Just be sure to pinch it back before it flowers. It likes to be pruned often with kitchen shears. And never, ever put this herb in the refrigerator.
For the Mint Sauce:
1 bunch fresh mint
1/4 cups parsley
1 clove garlic
red pepper flakes, as needed
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
salt and pepper
Add the mint, parsley, anchovies, garlic, and some red pepper flakes. Process, adding olive oil as you go creating a sauce that is just loose enough to drizzle.
painting by Michael B. Karas of Callawassie Island, South Carolina