This year we MIGHT be able to have a little Easter gathering at our house – the sod is going in as I write this and while the work won’t be done (and our driveway is painfully broken up, waiting to be redone) I’m hoping to execute my favorite Easter tradition – a ham, mustard, and pickle sandwich bar. I have no pictures of this tradition but will be sure to document it this year. We started this in LA years ago and it was SUCH a crowd pleaser, so easy, relatively affordable, kids loved it, adults loved it, and I don’t think I can ever look back. Here’s what you’ll need:
The Universal Power of The Humble Hawaiian Rolls
Y’all I didn’t know these existed until 9 years ago when we started doing sliders for kids’ parties, and my goodness the sweetness of these rolls combined with the saltiness of the ham is incredible. Last year I got pretzel rolls, too, just to give variety but everyone gobbles up the Hawaiian rolls first. So soft and sweet – don’t bother getting the healthier options.
Honey Baked Ham
You’ll likely need to order ahead, but this is the only time of year that we really indulge in ham (and if you are vegetarian this sandwich totally still works with multiple slices of cheese). They usually pre-score it for you, but if not you cut about 1/2 of it for your guests in sizes that would fit the sandwich and lay it out on a platter (you’ll have leftovers so try to give it away to guests at the end because you won’t want to eat ham for 6 months after this day).
Lots Of Cheeses
You can get a cheese variety of course, but we have found that swiss or provolone works best here. Please tell me I’m wrong in the comments and suggest another cheese that works with ham because I’m certainly open. The sharper the better and of course supporting local farms feels nice if you can:)
Many The Mustards!
In order to fully indulge in this sandwich bar we need many types of mustard (this is where the cost can add up if you aren’t careful, but we are a mustard family so we’ll go through them). Sure, you might be fine with just yellow – but let yourself live out all your condiment fantasies on this glorious day. Obviously dijon, spicy dijon, stone ground, etc.
Classic + Artisanal Pickles
Whatever you do, do NOT think you are above bread and butter sweet pickles. It’s my humble opinion that these are the best, despite their basic reputation. However, this is your chance to indulge in all your pickle dreams and support some local pickle makers and impress your friends (if they are into pickles – this will not impress them if they are not into pickles). Dill, spicy, sweet, relish, etc. My LA team loves Kaylin + Kaylin pickles (they swear by the honey mustard flavor) and I might have them ship a jar to me. Heck, with enough time I might even make my own. Yes, you can try relish, but for me, I love a sweet pickle SO MUCH in this sandwich that I dabble in dill but only momentarily before I head back to sweet.
Last year I got horseradish and fried onions (from a can) which I enjoyed. You could also go for capers or literally anything canned from the condiment aisle. You can even get a variety of chips and put chips in your sandwich (if you have never done this might I suggest you stop denying yourself the deliciousness of the internal sandwich chip? Salt and vinegar, ruffled Lays, and classic salt & pepper are all good options. Lastly, we love mayo a lot but this more popular condiment takes a back seat on this day. Feel free to go full “Starke” (my maiden name) and indulge in some Miracle Whip or make your own aioli (which I just started doing and is delicious) should you want to offer something a little less artery-clogging. 🙂
That’s about it. We usually do bunny pancakes in the morning and Brian makes deviled eggs while I make a huge delicious salad because I love combining it with a cold crunch. Then in the afternoon when we invite folks over we’ll put all the above ingredients out on platters, on the island, or dining table. Please save yourself a big headache – don’t decant or label the mustards. Just shove a knife in each jar and line them up next to each other on a table. Part of the charm of this grab-and-hang meal is its ease and casualness. This is obviously not best for a sit-down meal, it’s more for a party atmosphere. Let the kids help themselves (what’s the worst that could happen? Yes, they might just eat roll after roll but it’s Easter and they are going to have a sugar hangover regardless :)). So pop some white wine or local IPAs and indulge in what will be a joyous and gut-busting Easter day. 🙂
Opening Image Credits: Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | Styled by Julie Rose and Velinda Hellen | From: Need Some At-Home Easter Brunch Inspo?? Our Never Before Seen Easter Shoot From Last Year Has You Covered
This post was originally published here.