An elegant Easter Sunday brunch

April 2, 2010

Holidays are always a good excuse to get together with family and friends. In my case, holidays are always a good excuse to indulge in cooking a feast…

On Easter Sunday, spring is in the air: the tulips in my garden are about to bloom, the days are finally getting longer and warmer, and farmers’ markets are once again overflowing with fresh produce.

To me these are all very good reasons to put together an elegant brunch. Here’s a menu spiked with the first taste of spring — one that’s delicious, easy to prepare and yet absolutely stunning to serve.

Parmesan-Crusted Fennel Fritters with Meyer Lemon Dip

Artichoke Velouté
See cook’s note for making the soup with artichokes instead of cardoons. Since truffles are a main feature in the main course, I recommend replacing the black truffle carpaccio with fresh thyme leaves for the garnish.

Poached Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms, Wilted Arugula and White Truffle Cream

Roasted Baby Red Potatoes with Lemon and Bay Leaves

Chestnut Cake – Pan-Roasted Pears and Chestnut Honey Syrup

A word about the wines

I have already suggested wine pairings in each of the posts for the recipes listed on the menu. However, because it’s a brunch, and bubbles always add a sense of joy and sophistication to festivities, I would suggest  serving the fennel fritters with a Brut Champagne, Prosecco or Cava.

Game plan

If you are an early bird, then getting up at the crack of dawn to get this menu prepared in time for brunch will not be a problem. But if you’re more of a night owl, like me, then here’s a game plan that will make preparing your Easter brunch a bit less hectic.

Friday (or Saturday)
Shop for the food, wines and flowers

Saturday
Set table and do floral arrangements
Blanch fennel and make the dip — refrigerate
Make soup — cool & refrigerate
Make white truffle cream — refrigerate
Bake cake — cool and keep at room temperature, covered

Sunday morning
Bread the fennel slices, set on a plate, cover and refrigerate until ready to pan-fry. Only fry them right before you serve them
Make the roasted potatoes, under-baking by 5 minutes so that you can re-heat them while you make the poached eggs
Sauté the mushrooms and arugula for the poached eggs. Keep at room temperature. Do not warm these up before assembling the eggs
Cut the bread slices for the poached eggs and place in a plastic bag so they don’t dry
Bring soup & white truffle cream to room temperature

Sunday brunch
As your guests walk in, pour them a glass of bubbly. Then pan-fry the fritters (it only tastes a few minutes). Serve them on a tray with the dip or in individual plates if you want to serve the whole meal as a sit-down affair
Gently warm the soup and serve
Warm the potatoes in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until golden-brown. Meanwhile, broil the bread slices and poach the eggs. Assemble the poached eggs on each plate and serve with the roasted potatoes on the side. Garnish the plate with a few baby greens
Just before you are ready to serve the dessert, slice the pears (slicing them ahead of time is not a good idea as they turn brown very quickly) and sauté them. Make the honey syrup and serve the cake, either at the table or plated on individual plates

Wishing you a very happy, elegant and delicious Easter…

© 2010 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Divina April 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

Thanks for the menu Viviane and have a great Easter Sunday to you too. :)

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Dana Treat April 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

Okay. Not to sound like an utter snob here, but I am going to an Easter “dinner” (like 5pm) and on the menu will be a giant ham, disgusting “scalloped” potatoes covered in Ritz crackers, boiled asparagus and other treasures. I was assigned dessert so I know that at least I will be eating a large slice of lemon tart and some Easter candy. Would MUCH rather have any or all of what you have here.

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Lazaro April 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

Your blog is an inspiration. Wonderful vibrant photos and great writing. Look forward to following you here.

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Denise Therese April 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

Um… YUM. Wow. This menu is amazing. :D

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Viviane Bauquet Farre April 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

Dana! You always make me smile. Thank you for your comment… I hope you do not have to eat too many crackers before you can enjoy a slice of your beautiful lemon tart!

Denise, are you asking about the bread crumbs because of an allergy, or need for the recipe to be Gluten Free? If yes, then I would either coat the fritters with Parmesan alone or make your own bread crumb with GF bread.

Divina, a very happy Easter to you my dear…

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Viviane Bauquet Farre April 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

Lazaro, Thank you for your kind words… It’s words like yours that keep me going – very grateful for them and for your stopping by.

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Scott K (Fight the Fat Foodie) April 2, 2010 at 11:01 am

Your food is so beautiful. thanks for sharing.

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Denise Therese April 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

Viviane, I would need it to be gluten-free. Thanks for the tips! :D

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Oh Viviane, I think my invitation to your Easter brunch must have been lost in the mail, right ;-) I’ll be there around 11? Seriously, this looks outstanding. Your guests are lucky!

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lisa ng April 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

How lovely! and that egg looks PERFECT! Thank you and Happy Easter!

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Lisa April 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Okay, now I’m really hungry, I don’t think I can wait until Easter!

love, Lisa K.

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Steve April 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm

What time were you serving this on Sunday?

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Dawn@CocinaSavant April 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm

what a thoughtful post. the dishes look delicious and the plan you have laid out would be so helpful! i have this bookmarked for later use :)

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Thomas@ The Blog Wine Cellar April 2, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Good call with the bubbles! Can’t beat Champagne on the holidays.

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kamran siddiqi April 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

Viviane, this post is the epitome of sophistication, elegance, and pure deliciousness! Beautiful post! :)

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bunkycooks April 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm

What a beautiful menu! I wish I could be at your Easter brunch!

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alison April 4, 2010 at 12:17 am

wonderful post! happy easter!

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Liren {Kitchen Worthy} April 4, 2010 at 1:14 am

Love this post! The game plan is so helpful for planners like myself. Thanks for the inspiration and Happy Easter!

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Sortachef April 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

This looks fabulous… wish I were there. As a food blogger, what I really appreciate is that, instead of figuring out what food to feature, you say it all with flowers.
Now that’s style!

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Eleanor Hoh (WokStar) April 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Happy Easter Vivian. Congrats getting into Top 9 on Foodbuzz again! Well, you deserve it. Love your ‘game plan’, you’re so organized. Your lucky guests get to eat and enjoy your food and ambience you’ve created. Beautiful setting.

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liz@zested April 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

This is a seriously impressive brunch menu! Great post.

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Ninette April 13, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Gorgeous! Thanks for following me on twitter, so I could discover you.

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El April 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

You always make the most inviting and elegant meals. I love your ideas. I’m bookmarking now!

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Lori Lynn April 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

Hi Viviane – simply gorgeous!
Love your spring flowers and stemware.
Wishing a wonderful Easter to you and your family.
LL

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Geni April 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Oh my, what a divine Easter menu! I cannot wait to try your poached eggs and fennel fritters. Happy Easter!

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JoAnna April 22, 2011 at 9:51 am

Foodbuzz … top of the list! Congratulations and Happy Easter to you too! Your Easter brunch is voted the MOST beautiful and delicious!

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