A Make-Ahead Brunch Menu That's Just Right for Easter
When days become longer and milder, living for the weekend takes on a whole new meaning. Make the most of a leisurely spring morning with this colorful menu. Bursting with the season's freshest ingredients, it's special enough for an Easter celebration or any midday gathering with your dearest buds.
Beet Bloody Marys
Beet juice gives our Bloody Marys their stunning color and sweetness, while puréed tomatoes provide tanginess and a silky texture. And you can make them ahead: The flavors will intensify as they meld. (You store the base in an airtight container for up to five days, serve it in a pitcher, and stir vodka into each glass.)
Cheesy Spinach-Potato Egg Casserole
Our egg casserole with spinach and potatoes is a fantastic one-dish meal on its own, but even better with the right drink in hand and a salty, savory side. Prepping it the night before means the potatoes stay submerged in the egg, so they don't oxidize, and a touch of nutmeg brings a hint of spice.
Little Gems, Asparagus, and Peas with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
How do you know you've transcended breakfast? This composed salad is the delicious giveaway. It's a pretty tumble of asparagus, peas, and Little Gem lettuces, which have the crunch of romaine but small enough leaves that you can serve them whole. The tangy mustard vinaigrette has a surprise ingredient: nigella seeds. They provide a delicate allium note—like scallions, only subtler.
Baked Thick-Cut Bacon with Rhubarb Chutney
And there are so many reasons to bake bacon: less mess than on the stove top, less bacon odor permeating the kitchen (yes, there is such a thing as too much bacon aroma), and you can cook a big batch at once. The oven's especially good for the meaty, extra-thick center-cut style, which our food editors call "fork-and-knife bacon," because the indirect heat lets it cook through without crisping. Meanwhile, the rhubarb-chutney glaze forms a glossy sheen—specked with ginger, shallot, and chile pepper, it makes the smoky strips even more lip-smacking.
Basil-Yogurt Panna Cotta with Grapefruit Gelée
On the brighter side, these pink panna cottas are the elegant equivalent of yogurt, fruit, and granola parfaits. Chilling grapefruit gelée until it's partially set, then tipping in basil-infused yogurt, allows the two to form pretty, abstract swirls. Lay a few grapefruit supremes on top, and your guests' palates are in for a sweet surprise.
Chocolate-Cinnamon Swirl Bread
To end on a rich note, set out this babka-inspired bread. The cut, twist, and braid technique used for the bread is a walk in the park if you follow our step-by-step instructions. The chocolate-cinnamon spirals are evenly distributed throughout the loaf, so you get some in every yeasty, pillowy bite.
Recipes and food styling by Greg Lofts; prop styling by Suzie Meyers; flowers by Naomi de Manana.