Spring is coming! I have for you today a spring brunch menu featuring a mix of late winter and early spring recipes to using the fresh foods you can find in your grocery stores and farmer’s markets just as the weather is starting to turn and winter is heading out. And the best part? Everything can be prepped or completely made ahead. More time with your guests and less time in the kitchen!
To my mind, the best brunch menu has three main parts:
1.) A balance of sweet and savory. Brunch generally means having a variety of dishes to choose from and I like having some sweet baked good along with savory egg dishes, salads, and other items.
2.) Plenty of seasonal produce. For this brunch menu seasonal produce means going for a mixture of winter citrus and early spring fruits. Blood oranges, meyer lemons, strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus feature in the recipes I choose. Not only will these fruits and vegetables be at their best, but some are only available seasonally so we should enjoy them while we can!
3.) Most everything can be made the day before. This is key for many parties and I think it’s even more important for a brunch! Do you really want to roll out of bed early in the morning and immediately start cooking when you could sleep in a bit and just pull everything out (maybe putting on a few finishing touches here and there)? I know which one I pick. 🙂 You will need to do a few things the day of, like finish mixing the drink so the bubbly is…bubbly and put out the salad in a bowl and bacon is much better done the day of (do it in the oven though and you can make a pile with no fuss), but mostly this menu will have you relaxing and enjoying your party.
Start your Spring Brunch Menu with a Drink!
My Meyer Lemon Cognac French 75 features seasonal Meyer lemons, plenty of bubbly, and can (mostly) be made the night before. Juice the lemons, mix them with the cognac and other flavors, and put the base in the fridge for the next day. Then, pull it out, and stir in the bubbly when your guests arrive. And you can go as light or as heavy on the cognac as you wish, giving you plenty of flexibility in how strong your drinks are for your guests.
Want something else?
You can always go for brunch standbys like Bloody Marys or Mimosas (pulp free juice + bubbly + optional sugar syrup will work every time) and have a great, easy drink to serve. Or you could pull out the blender and whir up some Raspberry Sorbet and Prosecco Cocktails! Switch out the raspberry sorbet for strawberry and you’ll even keep the seasonal theme. 🙂
Once you have the festive beverages set out, organize a coffee/tea station and maybe some hot cocoa for the kids.
Add Something Sweet to the Mix
Yes, you could make pancakes or waffles, but that would defeat the aim of getting things done ahead of time. Save pancakes for your next lazy family Sunday morning breakfast and make scones, coffeecake, muffins, or other simple baked goods for this Springtime Brunch. These can all be made a day (or two) ahead, don’t require any fancy kitchen skills, and come in so many flavors that you’re sure to find a recipe that appeals.
First of all, rhubarb and strawberries are a classic pairing so I couldn’t resist matching the two recipes together. A bite of scone and then a bite of coffee cake and it’s all good. 🙂 Second, I want to talk about that rhubarb coffee cake. Soft and buttery cake, crispy crumbs over the top, and sweet-sour rhubarb in the middle. So good! This is a cake worth going out and buying a springform pan just so you can make it. Third, as for the scones? Chocolate and strawberry! Need I say more? How about whips together in just a few minutes in the food processor? And you can cut them into cute, heart shapes if you want.
Both are wonderful and easy baked treats great for a brunch with fruits you can easily find this time of year. And, along with the scones, the bread and the muffins can all be frozen and then warmed up the day of your brunch. Bonus!
Balance the Sweet with some Savory Options
As much as many of us would like to, we can’t live on scones alone (not even scones and cocktails!), so it’s time to talk about low carb, low sugar options for this spring brunch menu. Your gluten-free friends will be happy to see a Bacon and Asparagus Crustless Quiche on offer and my Winter Citrus Salad with Mixed Greens is too tasty and too pretty to leave out. (While also being gluten-free!)
The quiche is perfect to make ahead since you want to serve it at room temperature. Make it the day before and put it in the fridge overnight, then let it warm up to room temperature as you organize everything that morning. As for the salad, you will need to assemble it just before serving, but you can cut up the citrus, buy a couple of bags of washed greens, and blend up the dressing all ahead of time.
All that’s left the day of the brunch is to pop some bacon or sausages onto a baking sheet and put them in the oven where they can cook away without you having to stand over them.