Main Attraction, Pork, Vegetable Side Dishes

Easter Dinner: Maple Mustard Ham, Blueberry Cabbage and Rosemary Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

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This trio of Easter dinner recipes will make your celebration as colourful as a basket of Easter eggs!

Click here for my Easiest-Ever Hot Cross Buns! 17358502_1585991954762229_9197377597501935927_o (1)

Maple Mustard Ham  serves 12-16

Maple syrup-making sessions are the earliest and surest signs of spring in sugar shacks around the province. If you don’t make your own, pick up a bottle from Acadian Maple. Meadowbrook Meat Market makes beautiful hams and they’re often on sale around Easter. Leftovers are a very welcome bonus so don’t be afraid to try this recipe, even if you’re a small household.

1 bone-in Picnic Ham, about 8 lbs
1 cup Maple Syrup
½ cup Grainy Mustard
¼ teaspoon ground Cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Pull the rind off the ham (if there is one) and trim the remaining fat to ¼” thickness with a sharp knife. Score the fat in a diamond pattern.

Boil the maple syrup until reduced to 2/3 cup, then whisk in the mustard, cloves and black pepper. Pour half of the glaze into a bowl and set aside to serve with the ham. Place the ham in a roasting pan and brush all over the exposed surfaces with half of the remaining maple syrup mixture. Pour 1 cup water into the pan. Roast for one hour, then brush with the remaining mixture and roast for about 3 ½ hours, until a thermometer inserted in the centre reads at least 150°F. The ham will be darkly glazed and shiny. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes (an hour or two would be ideal) before carving and serving.

Rosemary Parmesan Sweet Potatoes serves 6-8

Incredibly, Nova Scotia now produces some the world’s finest Sweet Potatoes. Keddy’s sweet potatoes are found at many farm markets and increasingly available at grocery stores around the province. Holmestead Cheese makes a great Parmesan-style cheese that you can buy at their Factorydale store.

2 lb. (900g) Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces (about 4 large)
1 teaspoon crumbled dried Rosemary or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Rosemary
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cup melted Butter Or Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Add two tablespoons of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Add the rosemary, Parmesan cheese and olive oil and mash until fairly smooth, a little texture is great. Taste and add a little salt if needed.

Blueberry Red Cabbage

Not only will this provide your feast with gorgeous colour, it’s also one of the best winter vegetable dishes I’ve ever tasted. This dish takes its inspiration from my inspiration, Moosewood Cookbook author Mollie Katzen. Lazy Brook Farm in Waterville supplies shops up and down the Valley with their organic frozen blueberries.

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large Onion, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon Salt
4 cups shredded Red Cabbage
1 cup Apple Cider
1 cup Blueberries
1 clove Garlic, minced (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the onions, give it a stir and cover. Allow to cook for a few minutes until the onions are beginning to soften and brown. Remove the cover and add the salt and cabbage. Give it a quick stir and cover again. Cook for two minutes, then add the cider, blueberries and optional garlic. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for twenty minutes or so, until the liquid has reduced and the cabbage is tender.