Spring is in the air! So is the smell of freshly ripened fruits and veggies. Use these recipes to freshen up your brunch and add a punch of spring to your plate.
Cheesy Ham Potato Bake
Total Time: 3 hr 30 min
Prep: 1 hr 15 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
Yield: 8 servings
For the Crust:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cubed (keep cold in the freezer)
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
For the Filling:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 large red-skinned potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), unpeeled
2 gala apples, unpeeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
5 ounces mortadella or ham, thinly sliced
10 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
Heavy cream, for brushing
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Make the crust: Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add 1 stick butter and pulse until combined. Add the remaining 2 sticks butter and pulse three times, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the vinegar, and then gradually add 1/3 cup ice water through the feed tube, pulsing four times, until evenly combined. Squeeze the dough between your fingers. If it doesn’t hold its shape, add up to 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse two more times (the dough should still be crumbly). Turn out onto a clean surface and press into a ball; divide in half, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into two 1-inch-thick rectangles. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Make the filling: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly brown, 5 to 7 minutes; season with salt and let cool. Slice the potatoes and apples very thinly; toss in a bowl with the thyme, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. On a floured surface roll out one piece of dough into a 12-inch square, about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to the prepared dish, tucking the dough into the edges and corners; do not trim the overhang. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the dough and add the onion. Lay the mortadella on top, and then sprinkle with about one-third of the cheese. Layer half of the potatoes and apples on top in a single layer; Season with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with another one-third of the cheese. Top with the remaining potatoes, apples; season again and finish with cheese.
Roll the remaining dough into a 12-inch square and place on top of the filling. Press the overhang of the two crusts together, then roll the dough under itself and pinch to make a 3/4-inch-high edge. Make slits in the top crust with a knife to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake the pie until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F, brush the crust with cream and continue baking until crisp, about 35 more minutes. Cool 25 minutes, then lift out of the pan and slice.
Fresh Pea Deviled Eggs
Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 25 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 24 deviled eggs
12 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons frozen peas
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint, plus 24 small pretty leaves, for garnish
Grated zest of 1 1/2 lemons
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Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat; prepare a large bowl of ice water. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water and cook 10 minutes.
Drain the eggs and transfer to the ice water to cool completely.
Microwave the peas according to the package directions; drain and let cool.
Peel the eggs, halve lengthwise and remove the yolks from the whites. Set the whites aside on a plate. Blend the yolks and 1 cup of the peas in a food processor until crumbly.
Add the olive oil, sour cream, chopped mint, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon water and process until the mixture is smooth and light.
Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture back into the whites.
Garnish each egg half with 1 of the remaining peas and a mint leaf.
Serve immediately in a deviled egg tray or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes: 8 servings Prep: 20 mins Cook: 20 mins
- 2 1/3 cups Basic Batter
- 1/2 cup white cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus more for dusting
- Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- In a large bowl, combine the batter, cornmeal and half-and-half. In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and lemon peel until fluffy. Beat in the lemon juice.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate.
- Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Grease the pan with some butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal batter and, tilting and rotating the pan, form a thin crepe. Cook until golden, 1 minute; flip and cook for about 15 seconds. Repeat with the remaining cornmeal batter and butter.
- In a heavy saucepan, bring the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, undisturbed, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the apricots and 1/4 cup water.
- Meanwhile, working in batches, arrange the crepes on a work surface and spread some of the cream cheese mixture on each one. Fold the crepes in half, and then fold in half again to form a fan. Top with the apricot-caramel sauce and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
- 3 cups cubed seeded watermelon, frozen
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups chilled prosecco or other sparkling wine, divided
- Julienne-cut lemon rind (optional)
- Place watermelon, 2 tablespoons sugar, juice, and 1 cup wine in a blender; process until smooth. Pour about 1/3 cup watermelon mixture into each of 8 glasses. Pour 1/4 cup remaining wine into each glass. Garnish with lemon rind, if desired. Serve immediately.
Artichoke Scramble Benedict
Makes: 4 servings Active Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
- 8 canned artichoke bottoms, (1 1/2 cans), rinsed (see Shopping Tip)
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Pompeian Olive Extra Oil Blend Canola & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, divided, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
- 1/3 cup chopped pancetta
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon water
- 6 large eggs
- 4 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Toss artichoke bottoms with 2 teaspoons oil and 2 teaspoons oregano. Place them top-side down on half of a large baking sheet. Spread pancetta in an even layer on the other half. Roast until the artichokes are just beginning to brown and the pancetta is crispy, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and water in a small bowl until smooth. Beat eggs and egg whites in a large bowl.
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook, folding and stirring frequently with a heatproof rubber spatula until almost set, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in cream cheese, the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano and salt.
- To serve, divide the artichoke bottoms among 4 plates. Top each artichoke with equal portions scrambled egg, crispy pancetta and creamy lemon sauce. Garnish with oregano sprigs, if desired.
Tips & Notes
- Shopping tip: Artichoke bottoms can be purchased in 14-ounce cans—found near other canned vegetables. If unavailable, substitute two 14-ounce cans rinsed and halved artichoke hearts.
Honey and Cardamom Baked French Toast with Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream
This sweet French toast is baked to golden perfection and features honey and aromatic cardamom, topped with fresh fruit and a dollop of vanilla bean coconut cream.
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 long loaf sourdough bread, cut into thick 1 inch slices (enough to cover bottom of baking dish)
1 1/4 cups canned coconut milk (light or regular will both work here) or regular milk
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Orange Peel
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
Honey, for serving
Fresh berries, for serving
Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream
15 ounces can full-fat coconut milk, cold
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped out
- Rub the melted coconut oil in the bottom of a 9×13 inch-baking dish, and then arrange the sliced bread to cover the bottom of the dish.
2. In a large bowl lightly beat together the coconut milk, eggs, honey, vanilla, orange zest, cardamom and salt. Spoon the egg mixture over all of the slices of bread, making sure each slice is moistened. Cover and place the dish in the refrigerator overnight.
3. The next morning preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon any of the remaining egg mixture left in the dish over the bread, just as you did before. Allow the French toast to sit out for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature before baking. When ready, bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
4. While the French toast is baking make the coconut cream. Flip your cold can of coconut milk upside down and open it. There should be around 1/2 cup of coconut water at the top. Pour this into a container and save for another use. Scoop out the coconut cream and place in a bowl. Whip the cream for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft peaks form. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
5. Allow the French toast to cool 3 minutes and then cut and serve the French toast warm with a dollop of the coconut cream, fresh berries and honey if desired.