Celebrate the Season with a Springtime Brunch!

Welcome to spring everyone! 

At long last the winter has departed and it is time to celebrate this season of rejuvenation and everything wonderful that comes with it. 

For me, a relaxed brunch with my friends and family is a most pleasurable way to greet spring. I have put together a menu of new and easy to make seasonal dishes you can use for your own springtime brunch. 

We start out with a cocktail (big surprise, I am sure!). My Orange Mint Julep is refreshing and sure to put your guests in a festive mood.  Served with the drinks is my Green Goddess Hummus along with crackers or veggies for dipping. This creamy spring green hummus is full of fresh herb flavor. 

Now on to our main course, Lemon, Ricotta and Asparagus Frittata served alongside a cool, crisp Romaine and Strawberry Salad, drizzled with my Honey Vinaigrette Dressing. 

Remember, you do not have to make every single thing you serve. So keep your stress level low and serve some purchased foods as well. I have a delicious suggestion to serve with your frittata and salad… Bantam Bagels’ Mini Stuffed Bagels. These cream cheese filled little New York City style bagels go from freezer to oven to your table. How’s that for simple and easy? You can choose from classic plain bagels with cream cheese, cinnamon sugar with cinnamon cream cheese, and my fave, everything bagel with veggie cream cheese!

Speaking of keeping things easy, purchase your brunch dessert too. Cupcakes are always a hit. The bakery at the Healthy Living Market and Café has a mouthwatering selection. Or stop by Kelly’s Kitchen in Wilton for delightful and beautifully decorated cupcake choices. 

I hope you enjoy these recipes. Until next time… have fun in your kitchen, enjoy cooking for the people you love and remember… 

It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to taste good!

 


Orange Mint Julep

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of bourbon whisky
  • ½ ounce of agave nectar
  • ½ ounce of fresh orange juice
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint and more to garnish
  • 1 thin orange slice to garnish

Directions:

Place the agave nectar, mint and orange juice in a cocktail shaker, and muddle with a cocktail muddler or long handled spoon. Add the bourbon whiskey and 1 cup of ice to the shaker, secure the lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice filled julep cup or rocks glass, garnish with the orange slice and a mint sprig and enjoy! 


Green Goddess Hummus

Ingredients:

  • One 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas drained 
  • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic of clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper 

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse on high till creamy. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper and lemon juice if desired and refrigerate. Serve with crackers and or vegetable dippers.


 Lemon Ricotta Cheese and Asparagus Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus (about 1 pound or so) washed and woody ends snapped off
  • 12 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 & ½ cups of ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup of grated asiago cheese plus ¼ cup to sprinkle on top
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes

 

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Cut the asparagus into bite size pieces and spread over the bottom of your baking dish. In a medium bowl combine the ricotta and ½ cup of asiago cheese, lemon zest, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. In a large bowl whisk the eggs till the whites and yolks are well blended, then whisk in the cheese mixture till combined. Pour over asparagus in the baking dish and sprinkle the ¼ cup of asiago cheese over top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the eggs are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cut into squares to serve. 


Romaine and Strawberry Salad
with Almonds and Honey Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • One 9 ounce bag of prewashed romaine lettuce or another salad blend you prefer
  • 1 cup of hulled and thinly sliced fresh strawberries
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds or more if desired

Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper or more to taste

 

Directions:

Just before serving combine the romaine lettuce, strawberries and almonds in a chilled serving bowl and toss to combine. Serve with the Honey Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk the red wine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper together. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking until combined.


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