Recipes for the Perfect Easter Lunch

Want to try something new this Easter? Here are two of our new favourite recipes: Roast Lamb with Black Olive & Mint Dressing and Garlicky Chard and Panna Cotta with Poached Rhubard & Orange. Trust us - they taste even better than they sound. Read on for recipes for both...
Roast Lamb with Black Olive & Mint Dressing and Garlicky Chard

This dish is the essence of a spring Sunday lunch. It's a wonderfully light alternative to a traditional roast yet still feels close enough to the original to keep everyone happy.

Birdie Fortescue | Easter Lunch Recipe for Roast Lamb

Serves 4-6 people

Preparation time: 1 hour and 20 minutes 


  • One boned, rolled leg of Lamb or other roasting cut, such as trimmed rack, all with the fat still on
  • 1 spring of Rosemary
  • Salt, for seasoning


For the dressing 

  • 100g black olives, pitted
  • 1 bunch of mint, picked
  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary, picked
  • 100ml of the best quality extra virgin olive oil you have
  • 15ml of good quality red wine vinegar 
  • A pinch of salt to taste 


For the chard

  • 1 large bunch of Swiss or rainbow chard 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • (Optional) one chilli, deseeded and finely diced 
  • Lemon zest to dress



  • Start by liberally salting your lamb and then letting it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Place a pan on your hob and get it to a high heat.
  • Once the lamb has had time to absorb the seasoning, place fat side down in your hot pan and turn the heat down, slowly browning the meat. Take your time with this process and allow the fat to render, giving you a nice crispy brown exterior.
  • Once fully browned, place in the oven and cook for around 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your cut.
  • if you have a thermometer handy then check for an internal temperature of around 48 degrees celsius.
  • Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before carving.


Black olive and mint dressing

  • Coarsely chop the olives.
  • Finely chop the mint and rosemary and combine with the olives.
  • Add enough olive oil to loosen to a sauce-like consistency.
  • Finish with a touch of red wine vinegar to add sharpness and a pinch of salt for depth.


Garlicky chard

  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  • Spilt chard stems down the middle and finely chop chillis and garlic. 
  • Place all of the chard into the boiling water, submerging just the stem. 
  • Once the stem is soft, blanch the leaves (this will ensure the chard keeps its colour when cooked)
  • Drain the chard and dry thoroughly.
  • In a separate pan, gently warm the garlic and chilli.
  • Add the drained chard to the pan and coat completely in garlic and chilli oil.
  • At the last moment season with lemon zest and salt 

Serve immediately with the carved lamb and drizzle the black olive dressing over the top.

Panna Cotta with Poached Rhubarb & Blood Orange

This is a light and refreshing pudding with bitter notes. It's incredibly easy to prepare and the Panna Cotta can be made the day before. Simply leave it to set overnight and add the garnishes on the day. 

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Easter Lunch Panna Cotta Recipe

Makes: 4 Panna Cotta

Preparation time: 15 minutes, overnight setting.


Panna Cotta

  • 200ml Double cream
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1/2 a vanilla pod
  • Peel from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 and a half leaves of gelatine 
  • 250ml whole milk 
  • A pinch of Maldon sea salt


  • Whip 100ml of the double cream to soft peaks and gently fold through the seeds of the vanilla pod, set aside. 
  • Place the gelatine into cold water and allow to soften.
  • Gently warm the remaining cream, milk, sugar and lemon peel with the empty vanilla pod and bring to a gentle simmer (65 degrees c) then add a pinch of salt.
  • Squeeze excess moisture from the gelatine and add to the warm mixture, remove from the heat.
  • Ensure the mixture doesn't boil as it won't set properly. 
  • Strain the mixture and fold through the cream.
  • Pour the combined mixture into moulds and allow to set overnight. 


Poached Rhubarb and Blood Orange 

  • 50g sugar
  • 50ml Campari
  • Juice of one orange 
  • 50ml water
  • 2 stems of rhubarb, as pink as possible
  • 1 blood orange, peeled and sliced into pinwheels 


  • Combine orange juice, water, sugar and Campari in a pan and bring up to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
  • Cut the rhubarb into 3cm chunks and add to the liquid, turn the heat off and allow to steep in the warm mixture until the rhubarb has softened but still retains its shape.
  • When the syrup has cooled completely, add the blood orange pinwheels and dress with the syrup, making sure all the fruit is well coated.

To serve:

  • If you have set your Panna Cotta in moulds, gently place them into warm water to loosen and then turn out onto plates. If you have a large Panna Cotta, use a large spoon to carefully place scoops into each bowl, then serve with pink rhubarb, the oranges and syrup to dress the plate.


Read our top tips for styling your Easter lunch table here

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