A Greek Easter

SAVEUR's editorial assistant, Maria Xerakia, celebrates Easter with her family in Bayside, a neighborhood in Queens, New York. Here's a look at the traditional dishes the Xerakia family feasts on.

grilling a leg of lamb
Andreas Xerakia, a Greek-born resident of New York City, slow-roasts a whole lamb every year for his family's celebratory Easter dinner. Our editorial assistant, Maria Xerakia (daughter of Andreas), writes: "My relatives here are crowding around the lamb, enjoying their handpicked petsa (skin) and psaxno (meat)." See the recipe for Grilled Leg of LambAnna Stockwell
a man carves the Easter lamb in the backyard of their house in Queens, New York
Maria's father, Andreas, carves the Easter lamb in the backyard of their house in Queens, New York.Anna Stockwell
spanakopita spinach pie
This spanakopita, prepared by Maria's family, is a savory Greek pie made with feta cheese, leeks, and dill. It fits in a 9" x 13" baking dish and is perfect for feeding a crowd. See the RecipeAnna Stockwell
Greek salad
Xoriatiki salata is a country-style Greek salad made with olives, tomatoes, feta, oregano, and cucumbers. It's the perfect accompaniment for rustic main courses such as grilled leg of lamb. See the RecipeAnna Stockwell
Stuffed grape leaves
Metaxia Xerakia, Maria's mother, is to credit for these dolmades or dolmadakia, otherwise known as stuffed grape leaves. These leaves are filled with rice, onions, and scallions, and simmered with water and lemon juice. See the RecipeAnna Stockwell
two women in a kitchen
Maria writes, "Here I am with Anna [Stockwell], cracking red eggs. This is a classic Greek Easter tradition where one says 'Christ has risen.' The other person responds with, 'truly, he has risen,' as you try to crack their egg without breaking your own."Anna Stockwell
artichokes and fava beans
Aginares me koukia is a Greek side dish of brightly flavored and tender artichoke hearts and fava beans, and was also prepared by Maria's mother, Metaxia. This recipe is perfect for spring, when artichokes and fava beans come fully into season. See the RecipeAnna Stockwell
people toasting around a table
Maria's family toasts to the holiday. The traditional Greek toast is "stin ygeia mas!," or "to our health."Anna Stockwell