Easter Sunday was always a time for the family getting together when I was growing up, and it’s still an occasion when you’re guaranteed to find a few generations of my nearest and dearest all in one place at one time.
When it comes to food, eggs are, of course, the main focus of the day – hard-boiled for rolling and plenty of extra chocolate ones for scoffing – but as you might imagine, a close second is the Easter lunch.
A bit like Christmas, traditionally we’ve been the family that sees one poor soul in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove, and the other 10 lounging around, laughing and joking, and in this instance, rolling said eggs.
However, a couple of years ago I decided to break the mould and came up with a chilled-out, super-relaxed Easter special that everyone could take part in – even the kids.
When I tell you it involves kebabs and pizza, I’m sure you’ll think I’ve been on the Easter holy wine a little early but I promise this is the way to the hearts of your family this bank holiday weekend.
Start with a visit to the butcher for some diced lamb – I’ve kept some traditions, you’ll be glad to hear. If they have a marinade option, go for a Mediterranean flavour.
Then it’s a trip to the greengrocers or veg market for tomatoes, fresh mint, lemon, coriander, red onion and garlic. A nice salty block of feta cheese is all you need to finish this off.
Marinade your lamb overnight if you can – a simple marinade of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, salt and pepper is perfect for this. Give it a good rub all over and cover the bowl with clingfilm. In the morning, get the kids to thread these soften lamb cubes over kebab skewers and pop them back into the fridge.
Next up, you want a basic pizza dough – this is really easy to do and you’ll find plenty of good recipes on the internet. Divide the dough into small balls and roll each out onto a lightly floured work surface until 15cm in diameter. Kids and grandparents are the perfect combination for pizza building – start with a base of tomato passata and layer on feta, mint, fresh tomato and red onion.
Meanwhile, you need a chef for the BBQ to fire up those kebabs. If the weather isn’t playing ball, they’ll do just as well under the grill. Mix a nice big bowl of salad and you’re good to go. The pizzas will cook in about eight minutes and I promise, if you’ve never had homemade pizza before, you are going to love them!
The great thing about this meal is that you can slide the lamb chunks onto your little pizza, and fold it over rather like a calzone. The flavour combo is amazing. Finish with plenty of chocolate eggs and a nice glass of something cold. There you have it – Easter made easy, Pallister-style!
Have a great Easter, everyone.
Chef’s tip: give yourself three or four hours before you want to cook it as it needs time to prove.