Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter Lamb Dinner (a day early) with Friends

Saturday 4 April
Tomorrow is Easter, but we usually spend Sundays on campus, getting in a swim and prepping for Monday morning.  It's so much nicer to entertain on Saturday, especially if Kroger unexpectedly had nice leg of lamb for $4.99/lb. and you can call up a couple of friends, Julie and Antonis, for a last-minute Holy Saturday dinner.  
It was also the second Seder of Passover, but Holt managed to restrain Barbara from taking the lamb to the front door and smearing the doorposts with it.

Antonis and Julie kindly brought wine, including a Parkers Estate California Pinot Noir, so apposite a name; and Julie added some little Lindt chocolate bunnies to hop around the table.  
As we chatted, we noshed on Holt's fresh-baked Easter cheese bread from Carol Field's The Italian Baker, Barbara's goat cheese herb spread, plus a bowl of fresh guacamole (with garden cilantro) and chips.
The centerpiece was of course the tender lobe of lamb with our favorite mustard and rosemary marinade.
Once the lamb was out and resting, we used the hot oven to roast some crisp potato batons and green and purple asparagus. And we tried something we'd first seen at the Stone Road Grille in 2008: cucumber water, which simply consists of cold water poured over some cucumber slices in a pitcher, and is nonetheless very refreshing.
Also refreshing was an English cucumber and romaine salad with red onion, served at the end to tamp it all down.

Oh, and there was dessert, of course: along with the chocolate bunnies, a simple, light compote of green and red apple chunks and dried figs, apricots, and cranberries, simmered in butter, deglazed with Marsala, and drizzled with chestnut honey. 

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