How To Host A Traditional Greek Easter Feast
- by XpatAthens
- Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Always on the menu: a special soup made from a lemon and egg sauce with plump dumplings of lamb meat braised in a liquid for over two hours. Following the special soup was the real star: a whole spit-roasted lamb. When Psilakis was a kid, his father built a "temple," as he calls it, in the backyard specifically for roasting whole animals on a spit. "We roasted 20-30 animals a year!" remembers Psilakis. Early in the morning on the day after Easter, he and his father would prepare for the Olympic day of eating by hoisting the lamb on the spit. After rotating for hours over a hot flame, the tender meat was ready for the oversized group of family and friends to descend, sticking forks into the lamb and eating it right off the spit.
Everything on the Easter menu is served family-style, including a big salad with lemony dressing and moussaka — lightly fried eggplant and zucchini layered with potatoes and lamb and topped with béchamel, all sopped up with the soft and sweet Easter bread. (If you don't have time to bake, many bakeries sell Easter bread during the holiday.) But the most important item on the table: red-dyed eggs.
Duplicating a feast equal in magnitude to this one may be a bit challenging without a roasting shrine and a team of family members to help out with all the dirty work. No worries: Chef Psilakis shares a few of his classic recipes that are robust, toothsome, and easy enough to prepare at home.
1. Don't get overwhelmed.
2. Get organized!
3. Remember the reason you're there.