Millions of Americans consume ham, lamb or turkey as the main course during Easter Sunday brunch, but plenty of side dishes you never even thought of may appeal to your friends and family.
Unlike Thanksgiving, where stuffing and cranberry sauce are pretty much mandatory, Easter doesn’t demand any specific side dishes.
That’s especially true since everybody knows there will be plenty of candy after the meal.
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With that in mind, you can’t go wrong with a variation of spring veggies, tender greens and cheesy eats — no matter how atypical or unorthodox they may seem at first.
- Bacon-wrapped scallops recipe
- Cucumber and onion salad recipe
- Bean salad recipe
- Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus recipe
- Smoked salmon Charcuterie board recipe
1. Bacon-wrapped scallops recipe
It is important that you have a variety of side dishes to go along with your main course at Easter brunch. (iStock)
- Fresh scallops
Since Christians fast from meat on the Friday before Easter and throughout the Lenten season, they’re likely ready to dive into fun, meaty recipes again. For this recipe, you’ll only need a few ingredients to wow your guests.
You’ll want to begin by patting your scallops with paper towels. There is typically excess juice from scallops that needs to be removed. It’s important to gently pat the scallops vs. rubbing the juice off. Salt your scallops lightly and set them aside on your counter to soak in the salt.
Heat a pan on the stovetop over medium to high heat. Once your pan is hot, add butter and wait until it is fully melted. When it’s melted, add the scallops to the pan, and do not touch them. You should hear sizzling from the pan at this time. Wait two minutes, and then flip your scallops to the other side for an additional two minutes. It is very important to avoid moving scallops around while they’re cooking on one side. They must stay in one place to cook properly.
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Place your bacon in a separate pan over medium to high heat and partially cook the bacon for 10-12 minutes. Once your bacon is partially cooked, wrap it around your scallops and secure the meat and fish combo with a toothpick. Place your wrapped scallops back into a hot pan with butter and cook for two more minutes on each side. The bacon should be fully cooked by now.
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Set your scallops on your counter and allow them to cool down. The scallops will continue to cook at this point. Scallops are fully cooked at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve when you’ve reached the proper temperature.
For a little extra flavor, before you cook your bacon, you can toss it in brown sugar.
2. Cucumber and onion salad recipe
- Red onion
- Fresh dill
- Greek yogurt
- Juice from lemon
Slice or dice your cucumbers to your preferred size. Thinly sliced cucumbers are ideal for this recipe, but it won’t make the salad any less delicious if you prefer chunks.
Slice or dice your red onion, add both veggies to a bowl and set aside.
You can chop fresh or leave your dill leaves whole for this recipe. Depending on the amount of dill flavor you prefer, you might want to leave them whole. Set it aside to be the final ingredient in this salad.
Easter Sunday brunch is an important tradition for millions of families around the world. (iStock)
On the side, create a mixture of Greek yogurt, salt, pepper and juice from a lemon. Again, for the lemon juice, include as much or as little as you prefer. Adding little by little and tasting as you add is ideal for a recipe like this. Including one spoonful at a time, add your yogurt mixture to the cucumber and onion mixture. You’ll want to gradually add the yogurt to coat your veggies as little or as much as you prefer.
If you don’t have Greek yogurt or prefer this type of dairy, you can substitute it for sour cream.
Once you’ve decided on how much yogurt your mixture needs, add your dill. Mix in the herb and continue to add as you go until it looks like enough to you. Refrigerate and wait to serve until it is ready to be eaten. This recipe is great to eat alone or over a bed of lettuce.
3. Bean salad recipe
- Kidney beans
- Garbanzo beans
- Fresh green beans
- Black olives
- Yellow onion
- Fresh mozzarella
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder
- Fresh basil
You won’t need to do any cooking for this easy bean salad recipe. You’ll simply want to combine all the ingredients and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Remove kidney beans, garbanzo beans and black olives from their cans. Rinse the excess juice from the cans from the ingredients in a strainer and add to a bowl. Wash the fresh green beans and cut the ends from each side. Chop the green beans into bite-size pieces. It’s recommended the green beans be the same size as the kidney beans for this recipe.
Bean salad is an easy side dish that will impress your guests on Easter. (Courtesy of Gabriele Regalbuto)
Chop your onions into fine pieces and combine them with your beans and olives. For the mozzarella, you can use small mozzarella balls or buy larger ones and cut the cheese into bite-sized pieces. Add the mozzarella to the bowl. Slice whole fresh basil leaves and combine into the bowl. Drizzle olive oil to coat the salad and squeeze fresh lemon juice atop as well. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
Keep your bean salad in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
4. Prosciutto–wrapped asparagus recipe
- Lemon juice
- Shaved Parmesan
For this recipe, you’ll want to blanch asparagus over the stove. Be sure to remove any woody stems from your veggies before going into the pot and cook until bright, beautifully green and tender to a fork.
Once finished, squeeze lemon juice on your asparagus and wrap one to three asparagus stems in prosciutto and place them on a plate or platter. Top with thinly shaved Parmesan cheese. There is no need to cook with any salt for this recipe as Parmesan and prosciutto are naturally salted.
Easter brunch is a tradition that many families practice all across America on Sunday. (iStock)
5. Smoked salmon Charcuterie board recipe
- Bread or crackers
- Smoked salmon
- Cream cheese
For your guests to enjoy an easy DIY brunch appetizer, create a beautiful Charcuterie board with everything needed for a smoked salmon dish.
For this recipe, you can choose one or multiple carbs you think your guests will enjoy. This can include crackers, focaccia, bagels (large or mini), appetizer toast slices, etc. Set your breads on a large platter or cutting board. For the smoked salmon, feel free to make your own or use store-bought. Layer the salmon next to your bread and leave a small fork or set of tongs for guests.
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For the cream cheese, feel free to include any and all flavors you like. To keep with the theme of Easter, color your cream cheese with different kinds of food coloring and place them in small bowls with little spreading knives.
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Slice cucumbers and onions and set aside fresh dill and capers for guests to top their appetizer bites with. For this recipe, it’s recommended to skin the cucumbers before slicing them.