Throw Out The Easter Rule Book & Be A Rebel With These Twists On The Classic Roast Dinner Dishes

Easter, especially this year is even more special than ever before. With (the name that shall not be mentioned) still causing lockdown restrictions on the UK, Easter has opened up a little and allowed for friends and family to meet and celebrate together for what has felt like 10 years, so why not go all out and create something truly memorable. I’ve put together my favourite rule-breaking rebel twists on all the classic roast dishes that I’m sure you will love as much as I do.

Whether you are doing a full-blown feast or just going simple you can still spice things up and get creative in the kitchen.

I’ve hand-picked all my favourite aspects of a roast dinner and put together some delicious recipe combinations that will help you create a celebratory feast the whole family will love with options for all tastes and some added extra tips and tricks to make it even more delicious (and spicy!)

Cooking for a large party or just cooking a large amount can be overwhelming. I have a tendency to always overcook (but that just means there’s always leftovers – which I’ll use up the following days by combining into curries, dips and stews) but to save this from happening, it’s important to always plan beforehand; never eyeball the recipes and make sure everything is weighed out correctly. This make take a little bit longer to do, but it saves throwing away all of your hard-worked-on dishes at the end of the night.

I always like to create a timeline of dishes, and prep like-minded ingredients (even if they are for other dishes) at the same time to save time later on. Vegetables can take a little bit of time to cook, from washing, peeling, chopping, marinating and more – so make sure to shave off a few seconds when you can – and always try to wash up as you go. Have a sink full of hot soapy water, and when you are waiting for something to heat up or cool, quickly wash what you were using – this saves a lot of stress later on!

A lot of vegan dishes, or accompaniments to them can also be done in advance. The two desserts I have chosen are both very popular, and they can be made a few days in advance – popped in the fridge or and then taken out 10 minutes or so before serving, to come up to room temperature or popped into an air-tight container and finished with the frosting just before serving. That’s one dish taken care off, that is sure to go down a treat.

And why not it take it one step further and add some extra pizzaz to the less exciting of the dishes.

Roast Potatoes:

  1. Add an extra punch of flavour by adding one or a combination of the following flavour boosters: Chilli Flakes, Garlic, Nigella Seeds, Lemon Zest, Paprika – into the hot oil before adding your potatoes. Make sure to baste regularly with your flavoured oil for the best results.
  2. Inject some colour and nutrients and use purple or sweet potatoes instead of just the standard white potatoes or use a combination of all three for a treat for the eyes and the belly.
  3. Add a sauce to drizzle over your potatoes – and turn them into a star dish – a combination of Miso, Tahini and Soy work great – infuse it with a tailored herb that pairs perfectly to your main dish – such as thyme, rosemary or dill depending on your chosen main.

Yorkshire Pudding

  1. Add a spoonful of English or Wholegrain Mustard to your batter plus a tailored herb that pairs with the rest of your dishes – such as thyme, rosemary or dill.
  2. Main mini ‘veg-in-the-holes’ which are perfect for kids and adults alike. Add par-cooked chopped root vegetables into the batter mix before baking.
  3. Stir in a spoonful of pesto into your batter for a zingy, zesty twist and a delightful colour change.

Gravy

  1. Add in some balsamic vinegar into your gravy during cooking to add a depth and acidity which can cut through richer flavours.
  2. Roast a whole garlic with your chosen herbs and add to your gravy as its thickening to infuse and impart all those wonderful sweetened flavours – make sure to strain them out.
  3. Add a shot of Frangelico (or another nut-based-clear-spirit) at the start of your gravy prep – the alcohol will burn off leaving behind a delicious hazelnut flavour that works amazing with all the wonderful veggies.

Still not sure what to cook – why not try some of these?

Main Dish

Squash Stuffed Herby Fennel Rice and Pesto – a delicious dish packed full of beautifully fresh flavours and a crowd-pleaser centre piece.

Mushroom & Walnut Tart – this is perfect for a larger crowd as it feeds plenty, with slices left over for tomorrow’s lunch. The mushrooms add a meaty texture and the walnuts are the perfect pairing for any variety of vegetable dishes.

Side Dishes

Roast New Potato & Pea Salad with Tzatziki – packed full of deliciously crisped potatoes and fresh peas and a zingy Tzatziki – this is a brilliant potato and veggie side dish all in one.

Roast Rainbow Carrots & Beetroots with Beetroot Walnut Hummus & Gomashio – it’s not Easter if there’s not carrots for the Easter Bunny to munch on and these delicious rainbow carrots are paired with an earthy beetroot to elevate their sweetness. Serve with or without the dip.

Spiced Maple Roast Carrots & Parsnips, Mustard Polenta Mash and caramelised Onions – char both your carrots and parsnips and pair them with a creamy mash and caramelised onions for a dish that has everything you need to accompany any main dish.

Roast Cauliflower, Courgette, Wild Garlic Pesto and Butter Bean Salad – opt for something a little lighter and go for this wild garlic infused pesto and butter bean salad that has roasted cauliflower and courgettes for a delicious alternative to the traditional.

Dessert

Spiced apple & parsnip cake with cinnamon coconut topping – this delightfully lightly spiced cake is the perfect treat to finish off any Easter meal with friends or family and can be topped with your favourite seasonal berries or served as is.

Chocolate Cherry Espresso Pots – it wouldn’t be Easter if there wasn’t a Chocolate recipe and this one contains a strong kick of coffee and mellowed out with cherry for a delicious melt in your mouth moment that is oh-so-moorish.

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