Curtis Stone and Spike Mendelsohn share recipes for your essential Easter menu

By Ana Calderone
April 01, 2015 02:16 PM
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Credit: Hector Sanchez; Ray Kachatorian

In between eating chocolate bunnies and every Peep imaginable, you might actually need to prepare an Easter menu that provides some nourishment—and we’ve got you covered.

Start your Sunday brunch off with something light yet flavorful with this pea pesto and mozzarella bruschetta from Food Network star Curtis Stone.

“This dish is a testament to the new spring season and is a nice, elegant little bite to enjoy with a glass of bubbles before Easter lunch or dinner,” says Stone, who just released his new cookbook, Good Food, Good Life. “I love the super-vibrant fresh flavor, bright green color and combination of crisp-tender peas with the burrata and crunchy-chewy grilled bruschetta.”

For the main course, stick with tradition by serving up lamb chops courtesy of Spike Mendelsohn, who just opened the Chicago location of his restaurant Good Stuff Eatery.

However, you’ll find there’s nothing conventional about Mendelsohn’s take on the savory dish. His version created exclusively for PEOPLE calls for a blend of spices and can be topped with his tangy lemon crema.

Now, hop to it and get cooking!

Curtis Stone’s Pea Pesto & Mozzarella Bruschetta
Serves 4

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
9 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
4 thick slices ciabatta bread
2 tbsp. minced shallots
1 tsp. minced garlic
1½ cups fresh English peas
4 oz. burrata or fresh mozzarella, at room temperature
⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a food processor, combine the basil, mint, 5 tbsp. oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and ¼ tsp. salt, and process until nearly smooth, about 1 minute. Leave the mixture in the food processor.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle 2 tbsp. oil over both sides of the ciabatta and season with ½ tsp. salt. Grill the bread for about 3 minutes per side, or until lightly toasted and grill marks form. Transfer to a serving platter.

3. In a skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil, then add the shallots and garlic; sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through but still bright green and crisp-tender. Remove from heat.

4. Place one half of the warm pea mixture into a large bowl, and add the other half to the pesto in the food processor. Pulse 12 to 15 times until the peas are coarsely chopped. Transfer the chopped peas mixture to the bowl of whole peas and fold to combine.

5. Divide the burrata or mozzarella among the ciabatta slices, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the pesto on top, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve immediately.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

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Spike Mendelsohn's Lamb Loin

Hector Sanchez; Courtesy Good Stuff Eatery

Spike Mendelsohn’s Grilled Lamb Chops with Lemon Crema
Serves 4

4 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. lamb loin chops
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Place the lamb chops in a gallon-size plastic storage bag. Pour the marinade into the bag, seal, and toss to combine. Let the chops marinate in the fridge for 2 hours, or up to overnight.

2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the lamb from the marinade and pat to dry. Season both sides with the salt and pepper. Place the chops on the grill, reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, flip the meat, and cover to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with lemon crema (recipe below).

Lemon Crema

Combine ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp. sour cream, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, ½ tsp. lemon zest and ½ tsp. honey in a large bowl. Season with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. ground black pepper, and whisk well to combine.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes