Spring Fest: 6 Easy Easter Sides

By: Emily Lee

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles; Giada De Laurentiis

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Though ham and lamb may get the Easter spotlight, spring’s marquee holiday is the ideal time to play with the season’s fresh vegetable superstars like asparagus, peas and green beans. A welcome respite from hearty winter greens, these three are healthy, quick and easy to dress up. Here are six preparation ideas that could easily steal the show at the holiday table.

Turn asparagus into an edible present by wrapping a slice of silky smoked salmon around each spear. Not only does that salmon add an excellent smoky flavor, but it also brings a festive pink hue to the table.

When cooked to perfection, green beans are tender with a tight bite. Cook them in a chile, garlic and Roman mustard sauce, then pour on a simple yet tangy cumin and mustard-seed dressing right before serving.

Some of the best vegetable sides meld sweet and salty flavors, like this pea salad with feta. A light honey-mustard dressing holds together the recipe’s three staple ingredients. For a bit of crunch, try adding some coarsely chopped pistachio nuts.

This French adaptation dresses asparagus in a vibrant orange sauce that perks up the vegetable’s earthy flavor. Top it all with shavings of nutty Parmesan to cut the sauce’s acidity.

Don’t sweat meal prep on Easter morning with an overly complex side dish. Though this dish calls for frozen peas, it’s easy to swap in fresh ones and showcase springtime ingredients. Peas’ sweet, mild flavor complements the rich, buttery prosciutto in a side that comes together in under 20 minutes.

Minis_Spring09

Minis_Spring09

Mar 10, 2009, DINING - MINIS: Asparagus with Morels and Tarragon Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo by: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Evan Sung for The New York Times

This indulgent Easter side calls for two different types of mushrooms: morels and shiitakes (though porcinis and white button mushrooms make suitable stand-ins, respectively). The asparagus cooks alongside the mushrooms until the texture is crisp-tender, and a creamy tarragon sauce holds it all together.

More Easter Recipes from Family & Friends:
Dishin & Dishes: Spring Couscous Salad
Cooking With Elise: Ham and Cheese Party Rolls
Bacon and Souffle: Spring Pea and Mint Frittata
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