Recipes to complete your meal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Over the last few weeks we’ve covered several dishes for you to serve your family and friends for Easter. Today is the last Wednesday before Easter so I want to share two more of my favorite side dishes that are perfect for Easter lunch.

First of all Easter comes in the Spring and so does my favorite vegetable, asparagus. If you have only eaten asparagus from a can you have no idea what you are missing out on. Fresh asparagus is not only delicious but a breeze to prepare.

Take your fresh asparagus and trim off the woody end. Most people bend their asparagus and believe where it breaks is where the most tender part is and they throw away the woody end. I just trim off about an inch or inch and a half from the bottom depending on how tender the asparagus is. Then I wash the asparagus and shake it dry. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over it and roll it around to coat (just a thin coating) and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in the oven. I don’t time my asparagus. I just watch it and occasionally sneak a piece out. I like for mine to be hot but still crisp.

Email newsletter signup

Next up on the side dish menu for Easter is potato salad. I absolutely love potato salad, and I learned to make it from my grandmother. Just like her I make it by the look and taste method so use this as a guide to help you create your own version. I’ve made a few changes from my grandmothers recipe , but I think if she tasted it she would approve.

Potato salad

2 1/2 pounds potatoes (red bliss or Yukon gold) Peel, and cut into large dice

6 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (stir this in right before serving so it is still crisp)

6 hard–boiled eggs, (chop 4 of the eggs, throw away two of the whites and mash up two of the yolks in the mayonnaise)

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/3 cup finely chopped white onion

1 cup good mayonnaise (sometimes I mix half mayo and half Ranch dressing)

Salt and pepper to taste

Place your potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let your potatoes cook just until fork tender. Drain and dip into ice water to stop the cooking process. Place the potatoes into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir carefully, trying to avoid breaking up the potatoes. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.

There are several optional ingredients you can try and see if you like in your salad. I like to add about 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, I also like about 3 to 4 tablespoons of dill or sweet pickle relish. My grandmother and several of my friends like to add about 2 tablespoons of regular yellow mustard to their salad. This is not something that I care for and by adding the two extra yolks to the mayonnaise I get the same light yellow color without the mustard taste.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at