Easter weekend is the perfect opportunity to embrace the good things in life: relaxing, enjoying delicious food and spending quality time with family and friends.
While Easter eating is a flexible affair (and features plenty of chocolate, of course), roast meat always goes down well and lamb is a classic choice. With that in mind, our apricot, feta and spinach stuffed lamb recipe below is packed with sunshine flavours and tastes great eaten outdoors (we should all be embracing the great weather before the summer heat hits, after all).
When it comes to side dishes, a large, crisp green salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a herb-flecked bulgur wheat, quinoa or basmati rice salad both really well. Alternatively, blanch sugar-snaps, mange tout and peas or asparagus and Tenderstem broccoli then, while still warm, dress with a lemony vinaigrette and finish with grilled halloumi or crumbled feta.
Now of course, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a few sweet treats. We think you’ll find that there’s an egg for every taste in store, from simple milk chocolate character eggs for the kids up to luxury extravaganzas of milk, dark and white chocolate for adults. Our spiced buns meanwhile are fabulous served hot slathered with butter, but you could also use them to make a very special French toast breakfast, turn them into a seasonal bread-and-butter pudding or simply top with fresh fruit, cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.
For a real showstopper though, we’d love you to try making our Easter nest cake decoration. Just melt marshmallows and chocolate together, stir through Shredded Wheat and cornflakes, then set in a circle mould. To serve, fill with mini chocolate eggs, add a cute little chocolate bunny or two, and arrange on top of a cake.
Whatever you choose to make, we hope everyone who celebrates Easter has a fantastic time feasting.
Apricot, feta and spinach stuffed lamb
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, peeled and finely sliced
1.5-2kg shoulder of lamb, deboned
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
sliced dried apricots, to serve
pomegranate seeds, to serve
mint leaves, to serve
For the stuffing
200g dried apricots
2 tbsp mint leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 white onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp dried oregano
125g spinach, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Put the apricots into a small bowl and cover with water. Soak for 5 minutes, then drain and finely slice. Transfer to a blender with mint leaves, rosemary, 2 tbsp olive oil and the Dijon mustard. Blitz to a smooth paste.
Set a frying pan with the remaining olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and oregano, sauté for 3 minutes more, then stir through the spinach until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
Leave to cool to room temperature, then tip into a bowl and stir through the apricot mixture. Crumble in the feta and season generously.
Pat the lamb dry all over using kitchen paper. Place, skin side down, on a flat surface on top of kitchen string, which will be used to truss the meat later.
Spread spoonful of the stuffing into the centre of lamb, ensuring the meat is not over stuffed. Wrap the meat around the stuffing and secure using the kitchen string.
Scatter the chopped onion onto a large baking tray and place the joint on top. Rub all over with olive oil and season with the salt and pepper.
Pour 150ml hot water into the bottom of the tray, then transfer to the oven for 1hr. Cover the joint with tin foil and turn the oven down to 170°C. Continue to cook for a further 45 minutes, or until done to your liking.
Remove from the oven, place on a board, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
(you can then use the cooking juices to make an onion gravy, if you like).
Slice the lamb and arrange on a large serving platter. Scatter with sliced dried apricots, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves just before serving.