Easter… it’s my favorite time of year in Malibu. The sun is spreading its warmth over us and spring is in the air. For me, Easter weekend signals that the beginning of a new beach season is just around the corner, which is great because I love early morning walks on the beach. On Easter Sunday, many Malibu residents gather for the yearly sunrise service at Zuma Beach to connect with each other and nature. The gorgeous ocean, fresh air and the sun rising on the horizon… there’s no better way to start the day.
Because our lifestyle in SoCal is so casual and inspired by the nature around us, I didn’t want to plan a heavy sit-down dinner this Easter. Inspired by our summer picnics, I decided that a moveable feast would be much more fun and allow us to gather and celebrate on Zuma Beach.
Since it’s Easter, I don’t want to do a traditional picnic basket… I did say moveable feast, right? Nothing says Easter feast like lamb. According to some beliefs, lamb symbolizes rebirth, rejuvenation and sacrifice, so it’s no wonder lamb is the perfect choice for a classic Easter dinner. When serving lamb, the quality of the meat is imperative, so order from a butcher if you can or go to Costco — they usually have terrific lamb. Instead of preparing traditional leg of lamb, I’m doing lamb chops since they are easier to prepare and grill outdoors.
Here’s my classic lamb chops recipe:
- 3 tablespoons of finely minced garlic
- 3/4 cup of fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 loin lamb chops 1 1/2″ thick
1. Marinate the lamb chops in the garlic, oil and rosemary overnight in a covered container. Turn twice if possible.
2. Whether you are using a gas or charcoal grill, make sure you have a hot grill to sear the meat. Set temp to high.
3. Remove the chops from the marinade and let excess marinade drip off before grilling.
4. Grill the chops over high heat for 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare results.
5. The chops can be transported in a covered dish when you’re ready to travel.
If you’re eating nearby, then bring out your good china — mixing some elegance into the outdoors makes the experience more memorable. If you need to schlep it, then pack the salads in Chinese containers that you can buy online or at a local craft store.
For transportation purposes, pour the Bloody Marys into individual mason jars. They travel well and are so cute to drink from — no need for plastic cups!
Pack all the prepared food and drinks into a few backpacks along with napkins, plastic forks and quilts to sit on or spread on a picnic table (don’t forget to bring bottled water, too). If you want to create a special surprise, make a morning trip to the site and spread out the quilts and decorate so that the party can get started as soon as everyone arrives. Unpack the Marys while you fire up the grill and get the party started. With friends and family celebrating outdoors, it will feel like spring has arrived. Happy Easter!
Photo credits: Elizabeth Lamont