Variations of brown sugar bourbon-glazed ham or rosemary-garlic roasted lamb, warm, billowy biscuits and roasted root vegetables grace traditional Easter tables, and thankfully so. If you want to go beyond the merely traditional but keep close to the holiday’s theme, consider rabbit. After learning how good they are for you and how great they taste, you may just want Peter Cottontail to ditch the bunny trail and hop on into your Dutch oven.

Rabbit is leaner than chicken, veal or turkey, with less fat and cholesterol. It has half the calories per pound compared to beef and pork and is the most easily digestible protein around. Since it’s both abundant and ubiquitous, low consumption has little to do with availability and lots to do with Thumper (a Cottontail) and Bugs (probably a Lop-Eared Gray.)

“Some people just can’t get beyond that mindset,” says Stephen Edwards. His Aspen Hill Farms in Boyne City, Michigan supplies local three- and four-star resorts and sells nationally through U.S. Wellness Meats. “I’ve had my rump chewed any number of times by people who say, ‘That’s not an appropriate food.’” He just holds his tongue and keeps his cool.

Here’s a bunch of rabbit recipes for basting your bunny.

Helpful suggestion: take your bunny to a movie before cooking him.

  1. Glenn E. says:

    The whole rabbit connection to Easter, is about as sketchy as Santa Claus is to Christmas. Maybe even sketchier. Being that it’s also Spring, the rabbit is thought of as a symbol of reproduction. Blah! But commercially, it been an excuse to sell chocolate bunnies and candy filled plastic eggs.

    If Easter is really tied to any food dish, it would be fish. I’m not familiar with what kinds of fish are native to the middle east. But I suspect that almost any fish will do. Except Catfish (just because I hate it). Which the Jews probably wouldn’t have eaten, if it were available to them back in 30 AD. Catfish are probably considered “unclean” scavengers, like swine. Crabs and lobsters too. But I not going to condemn anyone who really want to eat them, for Easter.

    I have to wonder if eating Ham for Easter wasn’t something one of the Popes cooked up, a long time ago, to offend the Jews? I think a fish dish would not only be more respectful of others religious restrictions. It would also be a lot healthier. Unless it’s deep fat fried.

  2. Rich says:

    Be Bunny Safe this Easter- before you take that shot or swing that axe, check to be sure it’s not something like a small human in a bunny suit, or a plush animal, or an endangered species pretending to be a rabbit.

    To “Glenn E”: FISH? That’s no good. Ham is wonderful. I’m not of eastern origin and I eat what I want.

  3. Andrew Zimmern says:

    Eat Mo’ Bugs!


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