Nearly two weeks ago, I had my parents come in for Easter lunch in the park (the grass was a bit too damp, but we bravely balanced plates and plastic glasses of sparkling pear juice while sitting on a bench near the flower conservatory). I had gone to the Ferry Building Farmers Market the day before to fill my backpack with all sorts of fresh and seasonal delicacies (such as asparagus, for soup, and pea shoots), and visited the fish market for a pound of fresh, local, wild halibut (the guy there told me it was "fantastic" in a tone of voice that suggested he was not lying simply to make a sale; it was the unbidden fervency of the fantastic that swayed me from the out-of-season salmon) and a bit of cooked crab.
My menus were fairly simple, but somehow I spent much of my Saturday afternoon cooking and baking. I insisted that everything be from scratch -- even the curry mayonnaise for the crab salad sandwich recipe -- which of course adds loads of extra prep time, but which really does make a difference.
Some days I can't bear to spend much time in the kitchen, and prefer instead to make something quick -- such as couscous and roasted vegetables, or a quick tofu stir fry -- but on others I prefer to set out a long list of culinary tasks for myself, and throw myself wholeheartedly into chopping, sifting, stirring. It is a soothing and rewarding exercise.
I was excited as I planned my Easter meals, and tried to come up with dishes I thought would compliment each other. These menus are not necessarily complicated, and the dishes do not involve an overuse of ingredients, but I wanted them that way (and yes, I still did spend a good many hours in the kitchen!). Easter Sunday dawned sunny and fairly warm, and Golden Gate Park was filled with kids and dogs and flowers. We took a long walk after lunch to Stowe Lake (it seemed we walked for miles -- did we?) -- all the better to whet the appetite for dinner.
Tonight it's off to Sonoma County to show the Greeks what NorCal is all about ...
Easter Lunch Menu
Deviled eggs with fresh herbs and radish
Crab salad sandwiches served on walnut bread
Cheese, radish and cucumber sandwiches served on walnut bread
Red pear, plum and apple fruit salad
Parisian chocolate macarons
Easter Dinner Menu
Appetizer plate of cheese, hummus, crackers and olives
Roasted red and sweet potatoes in olive oil and herbs
Fresh, local, wild halibut baked with leeks and lemons, drizzled with a
white wine/dill sauce
Green garlic and spinach souffle
Green bean sautee with garlic, pine nuts and mint
Spring lemon cake with lemon glaze and strawberries (vegan)