Easter Dinner: In Mint Condition

Easter is next Sunday, and along with the family festivities come the family feasts. The typical Easter fare often includes lamb for the meat-eaters and pastas with cheese and fresh herbs for the vegetarians. To compliment dinner menus across the board, here is a fantastic mint pesto recipe.

Nothing speaks to the budding spring season like a homemade pesto. Sharp, refreshing, and bursting with garden delight, a good pesto can lift up any dish to delicious heights. Most common store-bought pesto is made with basil; this recipe uses mint as the featured herb. It gives the pesto a slight sweetness reminiscent of flowers, which compliments the flavors of an Easter meal quite well. Find the pesto recipe below, and use it in the following methods for preparing an Easter entrée for either the carnivore or omnivore in your life.

Fresh Mint Pesto:
¾ cup packed mint leaves
¼ cup packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh black pepper

Combine mint, basil, and lemon juice in blender. Using on/off turns, process until mixture is chopped. Gradually add oil and process until mint pesto is smooth and creamy, then add salt and pepper and blend to combine.

Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto:
Rub lamb chops with fresh garlic and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in skillet and sear lamb chops 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked. When done, remove from heat and serve topped with fresh pesto.

Penne with Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Mint Pesto:

Toss asparagus spears and cherry tomatoes in olive oil with salt and pepper. Place under broiler and cook 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from heat; toss with sliced red onions, cooked penne noodles, and fresh mint pesto. If desired, serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.

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