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Cyclades and Dodecanese islands celebrate Easter with lambriano, lamb or goat stuffed with rice and innards, various regional variations. Aug 15th too.

Close-up of Greek ‘Lambriano’ food means lamb stuffed with rice and cooked in the oven

On the islands of the Cyclades and Dodecanese, lambriati or lambriano, lamb or goat stuffed with rice and offal, is made instead of lamb-on-the-spit for Easter Sunday as is traditional for the rest of Greece.

The stuffing is made using all of the lamb innards (the liver, lungs, heart, spleen) combined with two cups of yellow rice, two cups of water, a large dry onion, oil, butter, tomato juice, salt and pepper.

Preparations begin on Good Saturday. The lambriano is put in the oven and cooked slowly overnight. The Easter cuisine at Cyclades islands has different versions of labriano. In Andros, the goat is stuffed with lots of eggs, liver, herbs and a variety of local cheeses. In Naxos, they make something similar called batudo, which is goat or lamb stuffed with rice and chopped greens. In Astypalaea, the Easter lamb is called lambriano, in Andros lambriati, in Koufonissi psito (meaning roast), in Karpathos vizanti, in Kasos ofto (from ancient Greek where opto means ‘roasted’) stuffed with paspara (chopped innards sautéed with onion, garlic and olive oil), and then sewn up. In the island of Crete, the Easter lamb is not stuffed, but instead is prepared in the oven with potatoes. In the island of Sifnos, the Easter goat (preferred to lamb) is placed into a large covered clay pot in the oven, after being marinated for several hours, using a special local recipe, in a strong wine produced from dried grapes that are boiled, giving the goat a distinct aroma and flavor. In the islands of the Dodecanese, this particular dish is also served on the 15th of August for the celebration of the Virgin Mary.

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