There’s something about spring mornings that seem to call for brunch. Maybe it’s the warm weather and the leisurely feel that comes with it. If you want to host more brunches this season, but are worried it’s going to be too much work, then we’ve got a solution for you. We’ve teamed up our friend Rachel Logan, of Supper at Six, to work on four low-key, yet super-delicious recipes that will look like you spent days preparing.
Lemonade with Cucumber & Mint
*Makes one glass
- Store-bought lemonade (we like Trader Joe’s Organic Lemonade)
- Thinly sliced cucumbers
- A few mint leaves
- Pour the lemonade into individual glasses.
- Top with a few sliced cucumbers and mint leaves.
- Voila! You’re done. As to the proportions, that’s all up to you and your taste, so it couldn’t be easier. Ultimately, it’s a refreshing and super-easy drink to serve at brunch. Plus, it looks fancier than it really is. To make these easy lemonades look even sweeter, pick out cute cups to serve them in. We used Anthropologie’s Granada Tumbler Set in Blue.
Asparagus & Bacon Tart
- 1 package prepared puff pastry, thawed in the fridge for at least two hours
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3/4 pound asparagus, tough ends removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch freshly ground pepper
- 4 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to about 1/4-inch thick into a large square shape, and carefully transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Make a border all the way around by folding about an inch of dough over and pinching to secure. With a fork, dimple the center of the pastry (don’t poke all the way through).
- Mix together the egg and water and brush the egg mixture over the edges of the pastry. Bake in a pre-heated oven until the pastry looks dry and is just starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
- In a large skillet add the oil and cook the asparagus spears until just starting to become tender, about three minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, mascarpone, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper until well mixed. Spoon over the center of the tart and spread evenly. Sprinkle bacon over the top and arrange asparagus spears in a line over the top. Bake until well browned and set, about 18 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for five minutes and then transfer to a platter. Garnish with parmesan and reserved parsley.
- Slice to serve. This is the main attraction of your spring brunch. A decadent, crispy tart that will have your guests begging for more!
Tangled Carrot Salad
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- Juice of one medium lemon
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded into long strands (a vegetable peeler works perfectly!)
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups arugula
- 3 radishes, sliced thin
- Combine the olive oil, grainy mustard, kosher salt and lemon juice into a lidded jar. Shake vigorously to combine.
- Toss carrot strips and arugula in a medium bowl to combine. Divide mixture among four plates and sprinkle with quinoa.
- Add a few slices of radish and drizzle with dressing. Reserve remaining dressing for later use. This refreshing salad adds a fun pop of color to your plates!
Salmon & Couscous Salad Bites
- 1/2 pound salmon (wild, fresh if you can spring for it! It tastes better, we promise!)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of half a large lemon (or whole small one)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped dill
- Salt and pepper
- 1 English cucumber
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Rub salmon with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until firm and flaky, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add couscous and bring back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until all the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer couscous to a medium-sized bowl and toss with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Break the salmon into small pieces and add to the couscous. Add the red onion, dill and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice the cucumber into 1/2–inch rounds and mound the couscous salad on top and enjoy! These will be a surprise hit with your guests. They will applaud you for your creativity—just don’t let on how easy it was to make!
How to pull off a successful brunch:
- Make sure to have simple and easy snacks for your guests to nibble on if you’re still prepping things when they get there. We like a loaf of bread with butter, a mixed assortment of olives and a plate of fresh seasonal fruit.
- Flowers on the table really make an impact. Choose something that goes with your theme. Trader Joe’s often has an amazing selection at affordable price points. If you have plants and flowers in your backyard, try cutting some and making your own arrangement. It will be another simple addition that will impress your guests.
- If possible, try picking plates, napkins and serveware that complement your meal. We like simple white plates (they go with every meal) mixed with fun colors. This time we chose blue and green as our color palette. Anthropologie Green Bowls, a Crate & Barrel white platter, West Elm gold flatware and Heath Ceramics large serving plate did the trick for us.
- Lastly, have fun. Don’t stress too much. Make as much as you can ahead of time. These simple tricks will help you have a delicious and entertaining brunch that you and your guests will truly enjoy.