Rania Harris stopped by Pittsburgh Today Live to show off some great recipes for Easter dinner to compliment her appetizers from last week!

Crown Roast of Lamb

2 trimmed racks of lamb, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds each – tied to together to form a crown Your butcher can do this for you
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large cloves of garlic – minced
¼ cup finely minced onions
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
¾ cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Rice and Pine Nut Pilaf (see recipe)
Port-Currant Sauce (see recipe)


In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic, minced onions and rosemary. Add the mustard and balsamic vinegar. Coat the entire roast with the mustard mixture. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the roast on a roasting pan and bring the meat to room temperature. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or, until your meat thermometer reads 135 degrees for medium rare. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Remove the roast from the pan and place on a large round serving platter. Fill the cavity with the hot rice and pine nut pilaf (place extra rice pilaf in a serving bowl to pass to guests. Place the Port Currant Sauce in a sauceboat to serve with the lamb.

Slice the roast into individual chops and spoon the pan sauce over each chop. Serve with the rice pilaf.

Rice and Pine Nut Pilaf

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons minced onion
2 cups converted rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup pine nuts
6 green onions – sliced
½ cup chopped Italian parsley


Melt butter in a saucepan and cook the onion until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir briefly over low heat until the grains are coated with butter. Stir in the broth, making sure there are no lumps in the rice. Add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is gone. Do not stir rice while cooking. Remove the cover and discard the bay leaf.

While the rice is cooking, in a small sauté pan, melt the butter and add the pine nuts and green onions. Cook until the nuts turn golden brown and the onions soften. Add in the parsley and remove from the heat.

Add in the toasted pine nuts, sautéed green onions and chopped parsley.

Port ~ Currant Sauce

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ruby port
2/3 cup pomegranate juice
¾ cup red currant jelly
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons matchstick size strips orange peel (orange part only)
3 tablespoons matchstick size strips lemon peel (yellow part only)

For sauce:

Combine port, pomegranate juice, currant jelly, orange juice, and citrus peels in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 – 20 minutes. (This sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.) When ready to serve – re-warm sauce gently.

Sauce the lamb chops and garnish with the rosemary sprigs.

Artichoke and Mushroom Casserole

Extra virgin olive oil for sautéing the artichokes and mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound button mushrooms – sliced into halves
3 – 9 ounce boxes frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained well
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup rich chicken broth
½ cup Marsala wine
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter – melted
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and artichoke hearts, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste, and cook until the mushrooms and artichoke hearts start to brown at the edges.

Add the chicken broth and Marsala wine and simmer for a few minutes. Add the basil to the pan and remove from heat.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl mix the melted butter with the Panko breadcrumbs. Stir in the Parmesan and top the artichoke-mushroom casserole with the breadcrumbs. Bake until the top is golden, about 10 minutes.

Serves: 8 as a side dish

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