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Apr 4, 2007 01:10 PM

Brunch menu ideas, please

My boyfriend and I are having my father and his girlfriend over for brunch and I'm trying to figure out the menu. Neither of us are huge cooks but living in NYC we have access to all the best ingredients. I'd like to do something where we can prepare as much as possible ahead so we don't have to be in our tiny kitchen while we have guests. My dad will eat anything but he's very critical and prefers simple yet excellent execution. (As an example, last time he made us dinner we had a salad with all sorts of interesting greens, pasta primavera with the freshest veggies and the sauce was simple garlic/shallots in olive oil). His girlfriend normally eats incredibly healthy but I have seen her eat pancakes.

I was originally thinking about a frittata, possibly some roasted asparagus, fruit salad...

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  1. this is a brunch menu i made recently for friends:

    Asparagus Quiche
    Potato Leak Soup
    Vegetable Salad (Greens, cucumbers, beets, avocado, radishes, corn, beans)
    Blueberry coffee cake

    The quiche was surprisingly easy (especially if you can buy a good frozen crust). Almost any vegetables (or some ham) go well in it. Both frittatas and quiches can be made ahead and served at room temperature.

    I made the soup the night before, and got all the vegetables prepped, so there wasn't much to be done in the morning.

    1. My favorite brunch food is bagels and smoked salmon, etc. If you can go to the UES, I love the smoked salmon at Sable's. Certainly it doesn't get any easier. I would serve that, and make a frittata, possibly an asparagus frittata. You can make the frittata a day ahead and serve at room temperature. With a fruit salad, the whole thing easy and delicious.

      This is a recipe for the frittata:

      4 Replies
      1. re: valerie

        This frittata looks delicious -- thanks for the link. Do you think I can halve the recipe? What size pan would I use?

        1. re: JennS

          Although I haven't done it, you can halve the recipe according to some of the reviews on Epicurious. I would use an 8 x 8 baking dish.

          1. re: valerie

            Thanks again to everyone for all the suggestions. I made the Asparagus and Yellow Pepper frittata from Epicurious (link in post above) and made some adjustments per the comments from other cooks. I halved the recipes, used 7 eggs instead of 5 and lowered the ratio of vegetables. I substituted baby portabella mushrooms for the zucchini and also added 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup of grated asiago cheese (many people said the recipe was bland as is). It was delicious. We also had bagels and nova lox (from Russ & Daughters -- best place in the city) with all the trimmings, a green salad and a fruit salad. And coffee and mimosas. What a success and I will definitely make that frittata again!

            1. re: JennS

              Glad it was a success! Like I said above, bagels and lox is a favorite of mine -- maybe my most favorite meal of all. Now that I think about it, I haven't had it in a while. Maybe this Sunday...mmmm.

      2. Ina Garten on her Food Network show has done a number of episodes about brunch with some pretty yummy sounding items that look great! Some of the recipes I know she also stressed that she made them ahead of time so she would be able to enjoy the time with her guests. The link to the list of brunch recipes she has made follows:

        Hope the day turns out nicely!

        1. I think a frittata would be great. I am a really healthy eater but always enjoy one whenever the opportunity presents itself. Try making one with just veggies (maybe asparagus, haricots vert, etc) and a mixed green salad. Also, making it with just egg whites makes it somewhat healthier.
          Also, some sort of coffeecake or muffins might be a good idea.

          1. Quiches and/or frittatas are great if you want to pre-cook them and then just reheat when you're ready to eat. My favourites are parmesan, spinach and mixed mushroom quiche/frittata, spinach and chorizo quiche/frittata, and sundried tomato and zucchini quiche/frittata.

            I usually serve quiche/frittata with a salad of lettuce, dill, mint, and parsley, with a dressing of garlic, lemon, and olive oil. Or if there is a cheese plate on the table, I'll do a salad that has something fruity in it (e.g., green salad with apples and pecans, or green salad with fresh berries).

            I also do a roasted starch of some sort - potato, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, etc. You can be creative with those as needed (herbs, spices, etc.).

            Or else, I also very much enjoy a large salad nicoise at brunch (but using fresh broiled fish instead of the traditional canned tuna). The fish can be broiled the night before and stored in the fridge and served cold the next morning (or you can choose to warm it through before serving). Just remember to use a fatty fish like salmon for this, or else the fish comes out overly dry.