The Edible Birds Nest: Easter Lunch

A little taste of our Easter table this year…

It was more of an Autumn inspired Easter table this year with dried hydrangeas in the place of the usual spring blooms. I think the moody, grey day inspired my table decision. I also had to christen these amazing napkins I ordered from the super talented Natalie Stopka (who makes dreamy marbled magic) so the colour palette was all pistachio, pale aubergine and gentle creamy tones.  

We made some super tasty dishes inspired by a variety of cookbooks on our kitchen counter at the moment. Signor Pot made a few dishes from the fabulous Falafel for Breakfast by Kepos St Kitchen. A scorched eggplant salad and a trout salad with the addition of Freekeh & homemade dukkah. Seriously yum.

We had to try roasted radishes by The Clever Carrot since they just looked too irresistible.  My dad didn’t have any lemon pepper on hand so he just used pepper and a bit of lemon juice after roasting, totally scrumptious. I highly recommend making these to counteract the copious amounts of chocolate ingested at Easter time.
I’d been dying to try make my own baked ricotta for a while, so we made a pilgrimage to Paesanella in Marrickville and bought 1kg of beautifully fresh ricotta. I mixed it with 1 handful of fresh oregano leaves (chopped), 1 handful of thyme leaves, 1 small red chilli (finely diced), 1 cup of parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. I baked it at 180ºC for 1hr until golden round the edges. Decorated with nasturtium flowers from the garden, it was really pretty on the table and had a beautiful mild, herbed, chilli flavour that made the ricotta very happy.
And since Signor Pot is learning to bake (under my strict guidance) we baked a fresh potato focaccia. This Ottolenghi recipe was our go to, since it promised to be easy for a novice and it definitely was. Super light and fluffy, with the addition of crispy potatoes, rosemary and salt, what wouldn’t taste good?
For dessert I had this vision of an edible birds nest which ended up requiring all our skills combined. The night before Easter I made a caramel popcorn nest using this awesome Not Quite Nigella recipe with the addition of roasted pecans, roasted almonds and pretzel sticks to make it look extra ‘nesty’. All you need to do to recreate this is make a caramel popcorn with the additions noted; pour the still hot mixture into a big bowl lined with baking paper; place another piece of baking paper on top and press down gently with a smaller bowl to achieve the nest shape. 

Just before serving the dessert, casually whip up some spun sugar. This casually took us 4 attempts with all family members involved. My tips (after many failed attempts) are to use a small pan, dissolve the sugar at a medium heat, turn up the heat and bring to 160-180ºC quickly and hopefully you will achieve a caramel suitable for spinning. There are many videos online to follow and practise makes perfect, we can vouch for that.

Decorated with spun sugar and lifelike speckled praline eggs from Coco Chocolate in Kirribilli and of course a few little feathers, this dessert will be something really special for your guests to demolish in record time.
I put mine on my favourite cake stand handmade by Dorotea Ceramics.

I’d love to know what was on your table for Easter lunch this year so share away.


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