Sunday roast

Letter from the editor

There’s a romance to that very British tradition of a Sunday roast: an afternoon in the kitchen cooking a late lunch, a feast (originally post-church), for gathered family and friends. We Americans seem to have left this one with our friends across the pond. And that’s a shame.

But if there was a weekend to play with our own take on the tradition, it’s the one we’re staring down right now: with the start of Passover and Easter Sunday. Whether family has already come to town or friends are last-minute texting to see if you have plans, let’s spend the day cooking and catching up.

First, a non-denominational riff: Start with Sam Smith’s citrus salad with pistachios, horseradish, and sumac. Have a big plate of zucchini pancakes ready (which you can make with many different shredded vegetables like carrots or parsnips). When everyone has assembled, serve (undoubtedly to ooh’s and ahh’s) these picture-perfect seared duck breasts with port and cherry sauce. Chocolate is all but required: a dairy-free chocolate ganache tart, then. Done.

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The start of Passover represents a rebirth, a celebration of the spring. Noted. We can do that. I’d start with an orange, parsley and walnut salad and set out a platter of smoked trout, beet, and radish Matzo tartines. Then, make cauliflower couscous and/or curried roasted carrots to serve alongside a nouveau Moroccan-style brisket with dried fruit. A sweet and salty finish courtesy of chocolate chip and Saltine blondies and a pot of fresh mint tea. If that doesn’t show your family that you’ve come into your own, nothing will.

If you’re not waiting for church to get out before breaking bread on Sunday, then let’s brunch: A pitcher of Maggie Hoffman’s Blaylock cocktail (written sans alcohol, so you can pick your poison) and Chrissy Teigen’s French toast with whipped honey ricotta, with a side of the freshest fruit you can find. Or whip up these deviled eggs with shrimp, a golden beet, pomegranate, feta salad, and Dorie’s popular ricotta spoonable, before you drop the proverbial mic with Odette Williams’ “Big Daddy pavlova”. Whose Sunday is this? Your Sunday.

I know what you’re thinking… I praise a Sunday roast and have yet to plug chef Marc Murphy’s perfectly on-theme roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables. Come on, I’d never let you down like that. It’s in a paragraph of its own because it works for any and all Sunday roast occasions (including the occasion of Sunday itself). Bookmark it immediately.

Then mix yourself a grapefruit pepper cooler.

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