If you know and love France, then you know that Easter is a major part of the cultural – and culinary – calendar. If you can’t make it across the Channel this year, we’ll show you how you can celebrate a real French Easter in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Bring out the lamb
As in many Catholic and Orthodox countries, lamb is the star of a French Easter lunch. This reflects the pagan and Christian roots of the holiday: lamb means new birth, a fresh start and the coming spring, but it also stands for the lamb of God. If you want to join in the tradition, you can’t go wrong with a classic slow-roasted leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic. Why not try it with purple garlic for an especially delicate flavour? Easter lunch is meant to be indulgent, so pair your roast lamb with a rich, tasty side dish like gratin dauphinois. And don’t skimp on the cream.
A much-loved alternative to the leg of lamb is navarin d’agneau. This fragrant spring stew combines neck of lamb with seasonal vegetables, and it’s surprisingly easy to cook. Your guests will love the rich meat and the tender, fresh peas, beans and carrots.
And if you’re wondering about a traditional French starter for your Easter meal, paté de Pâques is a great choice. This includes pork, veal and hard-boiled egg in pastry, and is served in slices.
Keep it sweet
All over the world, people celebrate Easter with sweet treats. France is no exception, and here, it’s the ‘flying bells’ that deliver chocolate and coloured eggs to children, on their return from Italy! Of course, each region has its own traditional recipes – and you can see a selection of them here. Whether you fancy making a no-bake cheesecake, marzipan chicks, nid de Pâques (chocolatey Easter ‘nest cake’ with Easter eggs), or some sweet Easter shortbread, our baking and pâtisserie section has all of the authentic ingredients you’ll need.
Take it slow
In France, people believe in taking the time to enjoy a really good meal. Your Easter lunch can easily go on all day, with plenty of snacks, drinks and nibbles to feast on as you go.
While you’re waiting for your lamb to cook, whet your appetite and keep your guests happy by serving an apéritif, as the French do. If you drink alcohol, you have a vast range of tipples to choose from. Serve your drinks with olives and crackers, ham and saucisson, nuts and crudités and, of course, cheese.
Easter lunch is made to share, so invite friends and family – the more, the better! Take your time, indulge your tastebuds, and you’ll be enjoying an authentic French Easter experience.
At BonneBouffe, we bring you the best and most authentic French food all year round. Whether you’re planning an Easter feast, a Christmas banquet or just a cosy dinner for one, you can order whatever you need from our online store. And if there’s something you’re looking for and can’t find, just get in touch.
Our range of offerings is always evolving as we source new ingredients from local producers. To keep up to date with our latest range, just enter your email below to sign up for our newsletter. Joyeuses Pâques – and happy cooking!