Brunch in a timeless Sunday treasure. As a kid I stood on a stool by my father’s side, smashing the bananas whose destiny would be that moisturizing foil in our pancakes. Even now, come Friday nights I dream about and brew ideas for the meal that is a weekend’s present. (Hopefully) having matured in both age and palate, brunch often goes beyond fluffy hotcakes, syrup, and fresh orange juice to sweet and savory concoctions–herb, cheese, and meat-filled treats, and more often than not, an accompanying cocktail.
The recipes to follow are ideas for your next adult brunch. The weekends aren’t just for dinner parties, entertain your friends in the light of day, be lazy, eat well, and have a sip or two of a pre-happy hour accepted beverage.
I followed my own advice that brunch should be a social event and had some friends join me for this photo-shoot. Three photography students and friends of mine deserve the credit for these drool-inducing pics: Liz Osaki, Michelle Muñoz, and Jay Lublang. I thank them for their help and advice in further honing my photography hobby. More importantly they also helped eat the set…
Baked Eggs in an Heirloom Tomato Nest
This late summer-inspired pleaser can be a full meal on its own for a solo breakfast, or a pungently savory component to a large brunch. This recipe is easily expandable—just add a ramekin for each guest!
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat ramekins with olive oil, then crack two eggs into each. Place several slices of garlic and heirloom tomatoes on top of the eggs. Season with salt & pepper. Bake for 15 minutes (soft yolk) to 20 minutes (hard yolk). Sprinkle shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh chive on top.
Rustic Corn and Basil Cream Pudding
This creamy, bread pudding-like dish is made bright by the light and sweet flavors of sweet corn and basil. By soaking the corn and basil in the milk, these flavors become even more saturated into to this hearty dish.
In a bowl wisk 1 egg with 1 cup of whole milk. Soak two ears of corn off the cob and several tablespoons of freshly sliced basil in the milk and egg mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking dish or oven-safe pan with olive oil. Line the bottom of your pan with slices of rustic, grainy/seedy bread. Pour milk and corn mixture over bread, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle more olive oil on top and place in the oven for 45minutes, uncovered. Serve with more freshly sliced basil on top.
Hericot Vert and Prosciutto Salad with Warm Poblano Crème Fraiche Vinaigrette
I love how the spicy poblano plays with the cooling crème fraiche and sweet honey in this salad’s vinaigrette. You will most likely have leftover vinaigrette that I found goes perfectly over thick slices of heirloom tomatoes and basil.
For the dressing:
Roast one poblano directly over stove flame or under broiler until blacked on all sides. Once blackened, place pepper in a brown paper bag, seal tightly and let stand for 15 minutes. Peel blackened skin from pepper, rinse with water if necessary. Roughly chop the pobalano, remove stem and seeds.
In a food processor or blender combine the chopped pepper, 2 tablespoons crème fraiche, 1 tablespoon honey, 3 tablespoons red and/or white wine vinegar, and a 1/3 to ½ cup olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
For the salad:
Steam or boil hericot verts (small green beans) until they just turn bright green. Remove from heat and let soak in ice water for several minutes. This process will help keep the beans crisp and colorful. Place the beans in a serving bowl and top with sliced prosciutto and the poblano vinaigrette.
Not-Too-Sweet Tropical Mimi
Mimosas, or Mimi’s as I call them, are a classic brunch libation, but for something just as refreshing but flavored with a twist on the original, try using guava juice. You can find pure guava juice at most well-stocked liquor stores and foreign food stores.
Mix sparkling wine or Champagne with a splash of pure guava juice. Float fresh raspberries.