Celebrating with Passion A Palm Sunday Feast

Why a big feast for Palm Sunday? If your family is like mine, you’re going to have a big gathering Easter Sunday. My youngest sister is the host of the big Easter event this year. I wanted to get Easter Week off to a great start by celebrating the Passion of the Season. And by Passion, I’m not talking about the negative aspects, but rather a celebration of great love and great joy. Hosanna in the Highest.

This Five-Course Celebration of Palm Sunday contains recipes that are filled with passion intended to make this a very special Sunday. We’ve got so much cooking to do that I don’t want to spend too much time chatting. I’ve picked the recipes that I did because, in my opinion, they have connections to the day in their heartfelt passion and taste of celebration. There is a theme that flows throughout the menu, each aspect linked in some way to the next. The Salmon Mousse Canapés are served on cucumber rounds, giving way to the Cucumber Soup. Artichoke Hearts and Hearts of Palm are found throughout the menu.

Having help in the kitchen is always nice. The Antipasto Platter and the Cucumber Soup can both be prepared a day in advance. Even the salad can be prepared a day in advance. Just add the avocados moments before serving. The cake can be started several days in advance, then assembled in the morning. The chicken can begin to marinate in the morning. Both the rice and the asparagus cook in under 30 minutes, so once the chicken is started, the sides can begin to cook. I’ve selected the rice and asparagus because both dishes can be made at the same time on the stove top. With a little help, and careful planning, this could be a Sunday Celebration your family won’t soon forget.

Passion Palm Sunday Celebration Feast
Appetizers –
Artichoke and Hearts of Palm Antipasto Platter
Salmon Mousse Canapés

Soup Course –
Cold Cucumber Soup with Fresh Herbs

cucumber-soup3

Main Entrée –
Kosher Chicken Thighs with Artichoke Hearts
Mediterranean Orzo Rice Pilaf
Parmesan Pan Seared Asparagus Spears

 

Salad Course –
Hearts of Palm Arugula Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

hearts of palm salad2

Dessert –
Purple Passion Cake

purple pasion cake 2


 – Appetizers –

Artichoke and Hearts of Palm Antipasto Platter
1 jar marinated Artichokes, including marinade
1 jar Pimento Stuffed Green Olives, drained and rinsed
1 can sliced Hearts of Palm, drained and rinsed
1 can “baby” Corn, drained, rinsed and halved
1 medium-sized jar Roasted Red Peppers, drained and chopped
1 container Grape Tomatoes
8 oz Button Mushrooms, quartered
8 oz marinated Mozzarella Balls
1 block of Colby Jack Cheese, diced
1 hard Salami, diced
1 bottle Italian Dressing, Zesty flavored

At least three or four hours prior to serving or up to a day, combine all ingredients in a container large enough for them to be tossed freely. A one-gallon zip lock bag works well.

Close container and gently rotate until all ingredients are coated in the dressing.

Refrigerate, rotating occasionally, while the flavors come together.

To serve, transfer antipasto to a platter with a slotted spoon. Spear several pieces of antipasto with toothpicks and provide additional toothpicks for serving.

Salmon Mousse Canapés
2 English cucumbers
1 teaspoon Fresh Dill
1 package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 lb smoked Salmon or Lox
1 tablespoon Milk
1 teaspoon Lemon-pepper seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy Cream
Additional Fresh Dill for garnish

Peel strips from cucumbers to create a decorative edge; cut cucumbers into 1/2-in. slices. Using a melon baller, remove a small amount of cucumber from the center, leaving the bottom intact. Set cucumber aside.

Snip fresh dill and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cream cheese, salmon, milk, and lemon pepper. Cover and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.

In a well-chilled bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into salmon mixture.

Pipe or dollop mousse onto cucumber slices; garnish with dill. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


– Soup –

Cold Cucumber Soup with Fresh Herbs
1 large or 2 medium Cucumbers
1 cup plain Yogurt
2 tablespoons Crème Fraîche or Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons Parsley, leaved chopped
2 tablespoons Cilantro, leaves chopped
2 tablespoons Fresh Dill, chopped
1 lemon, juice only
1/2 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper

Peel the cucumber, chop off the ends and discard. Cube the flesh. Purée in a blender. The texture will remain a bit rough.

Add the yogurt and Crème Fraîche or Greek yogurt and blend again. You should now have a smooth mixture. Set aside.

Roughly chop the leaves only of the Italian Parsley and Cilantro. Set aside. Roughly chop the dill. Set aside.

Scoop up all the herbs and add to the cream mixture. Blend once more until everything is finely chopped.

Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mixture. Add the white wine vinegar and olive oil. Season with cumin, kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste. Emulsify to blend well.

Chill up to 24 hours before serving.


– Main Entrée –

Kosher Chicken Thighs with Artichoke Hearts
2 lbs Chicken Thighs, with bones and skin
2 (6 ounce) jars Marinated Artichoke Hearts with their liquid
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Combine the chicken thighs and artichoke hearts and liquid in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Place chicken, artichokes and 1/4 cup of the liquid into a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Turn on the broiler and broil for 2 – 4 minutes to brown the chicken. Serve.

Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
3 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Orzo Pasta
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 cup White Rice, uncooked
2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
2 Basil Leaves, shredded for garnish

In a sauce pot over medium low heat, melt the butter.

Once the butter is melted, stir in the dry Orzo and cook just until the pasta begins to brown.

Peel and press garlic directly over the pasta. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the rice and chicken stock.

Increase heat to high and bring the rice to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to just above a simmer (medium-low); cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, keep covered and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.

While the rice is cooking, cut thin ribbons of basil leaves and set aside.

When ready to serve, place the rice in a serving bowl, garnish and enjoy.

Parmesan Pan Seared Asparagus Spears
1 lb fresh Asparagus, trimmed
1/2 Red Onion, minced
4 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 or 3 drops Hot Pepper Sauce
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
Italian Herb Seasoning generously to taste
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Trim woody ends from asparagus spears and set spears aside.

Finely chop half of a red onion and set aside. (Chop small but not minced).

Melt butter in a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat; place asparagus spears in the skillet.

When asparagus starts to sizzle slightly, drizzle in the hot pepper sauce and add almonds, Italian seasoning, and onion to the skillet.

Move the asparagus around in the skillet with a spoon to expose almonds and onion to the butter and oil; cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and season with salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle asparagus with Parmesan cheese and heat until cheese melts, about 5 more minutes.


– Salad –

Hearts of Palm Arugula Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette
Parmesan Vinaigrette
2 large Garlic Clove
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 pinch Italian Seasoning Blend
1/3 cup Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

To Make the Dressing
Peel and finely mince the garlic cloves.

In a bowl or mason jar, combine vinegar, garlic, sugar, and Italian Seasoning Blend. Whisk or shake well to incorporate.

Vigorously whisk while pouring the olive oil into the mixture in a slow steady stream to create an emulsion.

Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Shake well just before serving.

Arugula Palm Salad
8 cup Arugula or blend with Arugula
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 can Hearts of Palm, rinsed and drained
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
2 Avocados, roughly diced

To Make the Salad
Scatter half of the arugula on a serving platter. Set aside.

Cut tomatoes in half. Scatter half of the sliced tomatoes in with the arugula.

Drain and slice the Hearts of Palms into bite-size disks. Scatter half of the Palms over the salad.

Cut open the avocado and remove the pit. Dice the avocado into bite-size pieces. Scatter half of the avocado pieces over the salad.

Dress the salad with some of the dressing. Toss lightly.

Scatter remaining arugula, tomatoes, Hearts of Palms and avocados. Add more dressing to taste and serve immediately.

Note: To make in advance, prepare everything except the avocados. When ready to serve, dice the avocados and whisk the dressing well.


For the Dessert see Purple Passion Cake

For to His Angels He’s given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Least you dash your foot against a stone.

And He will Raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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