30 Recipes to Make in April
Scrambled Eggs Florentine
Eggs may be a must at Easter brunch, but they easily can be stepped up from your basic scramble or omelet. Here, we fold spinach and mascarpone into soft scrambled eggs and spoon over crostini for an easy appetizer that fits right in with the other holiday-special dishes on the table.
We take traditional rillettes out of the charcuterie category by using smoked white fish instead of pork. Faintly sweet sautéed fennel complements the delicate flavor of the fish, while tangy crème fraîche and mascarpone cheese make the spread rich and silky. It’s delicious at room temperature, making it perfect for Easter brunch.
Spring Asparagus Salad with Feta
This lovely salad combines both fresh and blanched asparagus with peas, pea shoots and edamame in a creamy, bright, lemony dressing.
Fennel and Arugula Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Meyer lemon has a tartness that’s more tamed than lemon, which is why we love it with peppery arugula and crisp shaved fennel in this simple salad. Soaking the shaved fennel in ice water helps the thin slices retain their crisp.
Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms
Roasted asparagus and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms go with any Easter dish, from glazed ham to a spring quiche. The vegetables roast first in olive oil then finish in butter for an extra dimension of flavor and a nice sheen.
Confit Kugel Wedges
Sautéed Chicories with Chile Oil
Chilled English Pea Soup with Crab and Meyer Lemon
This refreshing, verdant English pea and watercress soup is the perfect base for a zesty crab salad. Chef Sarah Heller of Napa’s Radish Leaf Cuisine folds sweet Dungeness crab with Meyer lemon, crème fraîche, and a host of delicate spring herbs before mounding atop each serving of the soup. Any lump crabmeat or cooked, chilled shrimp would also work.
Chef Hillary Sterling does a special Italian-influenced Passover menu that includes this riff on the requisite brisket, which appears as brisket meatballs. “Everyone makes brisket [for Passover], and the Italians make polpette, so why not bring them together?” says Sterling. The meatballs are sauced in Sterling’s riff on traditionally uncooked passata, which gets a quick simmer and a flavor update with orange, oregano, and chile flakes.
Saba-and-Dijon-Glazed Easter Ham
We’re switching up the traditional sugar-crusted holiday ham by using saba, a sweet and slightly acidic syrup made from cooked-down grape must (similar to aged balsamic). We bake the ham on a bed of carrots and shallots so the drippings flavor the vegetables in the oven.
Baked Cod Fillet with Bouillabaisse Sauce and Green Olive Tapenade
The highlight of this dish—the deeply rich, slightly spicy bouillabaisse sauce—is perfect to make ahead.
Garganelli with Speck, Peas, and Scallion Cream
Farro Salad with Radishes, Snap Peas, Olives, and Pecorino
Farro has a sweet, earthy flavor and delightful chewy texture; it adds a wonderful hardiness to the fresh, crunchy vegetables and salty olives and cheese in this salad. If Meyer lemons aren’t available in your area, use regular fresh lemon juice and increase the honey to balance the dressing.
Grilled King Salmon with Meyer Lemon Relish
Floral and lightly acidic salsa brings out the buttery, rich flavors of grilled King salmon. Salmon is meaty enough to stay intact on a grill and gets meltingly tender as it cooks. Serve leftover salsa with grilled lamb, chicken, or pork.
Roasted Baby Artichokes with Parsley and Mint
Removing the outer leaves and inner thistle of each baby artichoke reveals its lightly astringent, mildly sweet core, tender enough for quick cooking. Be careful to wash your cutting board and knife well after preparing the baby artichokes as they can leave behind a bitter residue.
The delicate, milky flavor of fresh ricotta pairs with the grassy, lightly sweet taste of fava beans. Use best-quality cheese, produce, and bread here for a toast that’s more than the sum of its parts.
Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Shallots and White Wine
Pre-salting the lamb (the longer the better) will deepen its flavor and increase moisture and tenderness in the meat. Afterward, a simple sear then braise renders fork-tender shreds of meat. A spoonful of garlicky gremolata heightens those long-cooked flavors.
This slightly sweet mostarda gets plenty of gentle heat and acid from dry mustard, mustard seeds, and red wine vinegar. Dried black currants plump up as they absorb the liquid, providing a juicy bite. Serve leftovers with roast duck, chicken, or turkey.
Coconut-and-Scallop Aguachile Verde
Fresh young coconut has tender meat that separates easily from the shell; if unavailable, substitute bottled or canned coconut water and fresh or frozen coconut meat. When cut and squeezed, finger limes release tiny citrus-filled spheres that pop like tobiko; substitute lime wedges, if desired.
Skirt Steak and Asparagus with Salsa de Semillas
Loaded with pumpkin seed kernels, cashews, and sesame seeds, salsa de semillas is a lesser-known but beloved Mexican nut-based salsa.
Wild Mushrooms with Leek-Garlic Puree and Buckwheat Crêpe Crackers
Shiro dashi is a concentrated soup base combining dashi, white soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. It brings a sweet, savory depth of flavor to the wild mushroom and onion mixture. Chicken stock can be substituted if shiro dashi is unavailable.
Crispy Potatoes with Avocado Salsa
Papas are traditionally deep-fried, but roasting smashed potatoes at a high temperature (with plenty of olive oil) yields a similar result with a fraction of the mess. Make the avocado salsa while the potatoes are roasting; it’s the perfect creamy, cooling complement to the salty, crispy potatoes and bright, spicy jalapeños.
Broccoli Rabe and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dressing and Herby Molten Eggs
Spring is the season when warm and cold ingredients ought to mingle on one plate, and this salad brings all that to life. To serve, keep the soft-cooked eggs and the roasted rabe on the warm side, rather than cold, and compose the salad on plates with a bit of artistic flare.
A mixture of spelt and almond flours, gently combined with cold butter and creamy buttermilk, creates tender, fluffy biscuits that cover this juicy strawberry cobbler filling. Use the sweetest, best-quality berries from the market; their flavor is the foundation of this seasonal dessert.
Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Strawberry–Merlot Sauce
At Beringer, chef Alex Hrabovsky leans on savory pork drippings and lush Merlot to balance the sweet-tart strawberries in this rich sauce for pork tenderloin. A gentle finish in the oven keeps the pan drippings from over-reducing.
California Wappa Rice Bowls
Snow crab, especially the legs of the crab, yields tender, clean chunks of meat, perfect for topping these steamed savory rice bowls. To gently cook the crabs, steam them for 20 to 25 minutes over high heat, let cool slightly, and remove the meat.
Cinnamon-Sugar Churros with Cajeta
Churros require a relatively stiff batter to help them hold their ridged shape, leaving plenty of nooks for cinnamon-sugar. To prevent blowouts while piping the batter, be sure to double-line the pastry bags, which will also give you more control.