It’s the time of year when many of us are hosting out of town visitors and family. With the holidays, you may be planning a brunch, perhaps for Christmas morning, or maybe for New Year’s Day. I’m curious: what are your favorite things to make for brunch?
I like to look for make-ahead recipes, so that I don’t have to wake at the crack of dawn, and can relax with my guests over a cup of coffee. I’m a big fan of these cheese-filled blintzes from Chef Robin Leventhal. Make them the night before, and all you have to do is fry them up, pop them in the oven, and set the table.
Or how about a granola parfait? I’m so addicted to Molly’s homemade granola recipe that it’s an every-morning kind of thing for me to layer granola and yogurt together for breakfast. But add some layers of fruit and serve in a trifle bowl, and it would make a lovely addition to a brunch buffet.
For something savory, an egg soufflé is a great dish to make the night before. I’ve enjoyed this Greg Atkinson recipe, published in the Seattle Times a few years ago. Made like a bread pudding, it was the centerpiece of our Christmas breakfast last year.
Citrus fruits are like jewels on the holiday table. My favorite make-ahead side dish is a bowl of vanilla citrus fruits. The fruit infuses overnight with vanilla bean and a touch of honey which mellows the tang, and it is beautiful served in glass goblets or a pretty holiday bowl.
I’m always looking for new brunch ideas. Feel free to add your suggestions and links to the comments below.
Vanilla Bean Infused Citrus Fruit
4 ruby grapefruit
1 vanilla bean
Segment the fruit: Slice off the top and bottom of the fruit, exposing the flesh inside. Set the fruit on a cutting board, and slice off the skin and white pith in strips, by following the curve of the fruit with your knife. When all the skin is gone, hold the fruit in your hand over a bowl and gently slide your knife between the membrane walls to release the segments.
Before discarding, squeeze any remaining juice out of the membrane and into the bowl of fruit.
Cut open a vanilla bean and extract the seeds with a knife. Stir the seeds into the juice to evenly distribute them. Place the vanilla pod into the bowl, too.
Stir in a few spoonfuls of honey, to taste. Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.