Whenever a special occasion comes around (actually, this pretty much applies anytime) I am loathe to do exactly the same thing I have done before. My menus are often completely comprised of items I haven’t made before, or are at the very least new renditions of something I have previously done.
For Easter this year I decided to try my hand at a pistachio-crusted rack of lamb. Preceded with a scallop ceviche and zucchini ribbons, and accompanied by Hasselback-style new potatoes and asparagus with hollandaise and lardons, this meal puts the focus on spring ingredients.
The recipes are as follows:
Scallop Ceviche with Zucchini Ribbons, Lemon and Pine Nuts
Large sea scallops (2 per person)
Supremed lemon sections (1/4 lemon per person)
Lemon juice (4 tbsp per person)
Lemon zest (1 tsp per person)
Olive oil (3 tbsp per person)
Small shallot, finely diced (1/2 shallot per person)
Zucchini (approx 1/2 per person)
Chives (3 per person, plus 1 tsp finely minced per person)
Mint (1 large leaf per person)
Basil (1 large leaf per person)
Pine nuts, toasted (1 tsp per person)
Cut the sea scallops into 1/2″ cube.
Combine shallots, lemon zest, 2 tbsp lemon juice per person, 1 tbsp olive oil per person, a pinch of salt and white pepper to taste. Mix in scallops, cover, and chill for 1/2 hour.
Using a mandoline, cut the zucchini lengthwise in 1/8″ thick slices, counting three full length slices per person. Cook zucchini for 1 1/2 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water, then remove from water and let cool. Working three at a time, blanch chives in boiling water for 5 seconds and set aside.
Combine 2 tbsp lemon juice per person, 2 tbsp olive oil per person, a pinch of salt and white pepper in a bowl and whisk with a fork until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Individually dip zucchini ribbons into the vinaigrette, then stack three ribbons per person, roll, and tie with blanched chives.
Chiffonade mint and basil, and place atop zucchini rolls.
Divide scallops evenly between plates. Add a few lemon supremes to each plate. Mix minced chives into the remaining vinaigrette and drizzle overtop. Add the zucchini rolls, and sprinkle pine nuts on top to garnish.
Pistachio-Crusted Rack of Lamb
recipe via Chef John of Food Wishes (link here)
Hasselback Style Potatoes
New potatoes (I used red-skinned), washed
Garlic cloves (1 for every 8-10 potatoes), peeled
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400F (this is the same temperature at which you will be roasting the lamb).
Slice a sliver off the bottom of each potato to help it sit flat, then place it between two chopsticks and slice in 1/8″ or thinner with a sharp knife, making sure not to cut all the way through (this is where the chopsticks will guide you by stopping your knife).
Toss potatoes in olive oil, ensuring they are evenly and fully coated. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Halve a garlic clove lengthwise, then slice thinly and insert a few slivers of garlic between the slices of each potato. If desired, you can also add other spices (rosemary or thyme would be nice here).
Roast for 35 minutes.
Asparagus with Hollandaise and Lardons
Cook asparagus in boiling salted water to desired firmness, or steam.
For hollandaise, I use the method in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. For lardons, cut bacon crosswise into 3/8″ strips and fry them in a pan until crispy, then drain on paper towels.