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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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…
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.