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At the end of a long winter, ancient peoples greeted the return of spring with joyous feasting. Our modern Easter dinner has roots in those long ago celebrations that used available seasonal foods. The first hints of warm weather and spring rain bring on delicacies like asparagus, scallions, mushrooms, spring peas, lettuces, and radishes.

After the cured meats of the winter are all gone, a spring lamb or suckling pig would grace the festive table (think fresh ham, not smoked or cured). And of course the egg has long been the symbol of new life — rebirth. Here we have compiled a delightful menu worth a bit of celebrating.

Hard-Cooked Eggs with Radishes and Anchovy-Butter Crostini
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large hard-cooked eggs, cooled and halved *
  • 2-3 bunches of radishes, like French Breakfast
  • 1 medium baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and toasted
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling    
Stir together butter, anchovies, and garlic. Serve eggs, radishes, and baguette rounds with anchovy butter and a small pile of salt, for sprinkling.