Jo Tory’s Favourite Easter Tradition
The Easter long weekend is always a highlight of the year – a chance to gather the family for a relaxed autumn feast without the pressure that comes with Christmas – and without that stifling summer heat!
NAJO’s founder and creative director Jo Tory is a keen cook who loves to bring her family together in her Sydney home for simple meals made with local, organic ingredients and flavours inspired by her travels. She shares what’s on her menu for a long and casual Sunday lunch at home this year.
NOTE: All recipes are designed to serve 4. Jo opts for local, organic ingredients wherever she can.
Roast lamb with pomegranate and almond
I wake up early to pop on the lamb and then forget about it until lunch time. If you have a slow cooker, now’s your chance to use it.
1.2 kg organic lamb leg, bone out
Olive oil, for frying
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2cm piece ginger, finely chopped
1 x 400 g can cherry tomatoes
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 red birds eye chilli
2 tsp cumin
Pinch of saffron (optional)
½ cup raisins
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
Cooked couscous and Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
Roasted slivered almonds, coriander and mint leaves, to serve
Preheat oven to 150C. In a large cast-iron casserole, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over high heat, add lamb and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, add more oil if necessary, then add onion and sauté until softened. Add garlic and ginger, fry until fragrant. Return lamb to pan, add tomatoes, carrots, chilli, cumin, saffron and ½ cup cold water. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, cover and leave to cook for 6 hours, adding the raisins halfway through. Remove from oven and add half the pomegranate seeds.
Toss couscous with remaining pomegranate seeds, almonds and herbs, serve with sliced lamb and yoghurt on the side.
Charred eggplant and white bean salad
This salad is practically a meal on its own – make extra if you’re catering to vegetarians, and maybe add some other vegetables to the chargrill like mushrooms or zucchini. You can always switch the shaved parmesan for crumbled goat’s cheese or feta if you prefer.
1 large or 2 small eggplant
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Grated zest and juice of half a lemon
Parsley leaves and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve
Slice eggplant thinly and toss in a bowl with garlic, coriander and half the olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan over high heat and grill eggplant, in batches, until charred and tender. Transfer to serving platter with the beans.
Whisk lemon juice, zest and remaining oil together in a jug, drizzle onto eggplant and beans, season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with herbs and cheese and serve.
Everyone can indulge in this alcohol-free drink, or you can add it to prosecco or a sweet white wine for a refreshing cocktail.
8 cups sparkling water
4 cups passionfruit or pineapple juice (depending on your taste)
1 kiwi fruit, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 star fruit, sliced
1 lime, sliced
½ cup raspberries or small seedless grapes
Ice, to serve
Fill a large jug with ice, top with sparkling water, juice and fruit. Serve immediately.
How do you indulge over the long weekend at your home? Whatever your plans, I hope you spend time enjoying a meal with the people you love.