A moment to gather at the table and eat in complete relaxation: it is brunch, a true Sunday ritual. A habit imported from 19th-century England, it is now widespread throughout the whole world. Here are some easy-to-make recipes, perfect for an excellent brunch that will amaze your guests.
Brunch: what it is, how and when it is prepared
The name is a fusion of breakfast and lunch and in fact it is a mixture of breakfast and lunch. The origins of brunch are rooted in the aristocratic life of English nobility and refer to the buffets organized after the hunt. But it is in the United States that the modern tradition of brunch spread, where it began to be made in the 30s of the 20th century.
What are the main rules to observe for brunch? A good brunch wants a large table laden with easy-to-eat dishes that mix sweet and savory: from pancakes to fruit pies, from desserts to cream puffs, from salami to cold cuts and bacon, through savory pies, stuffed vegetables and focaccia bread, up to roast in single portion and marinated fish. Both restaurants and cafés now often include this formula and offer a brunch to their customers, usually with a fixed price buffet or an a la carte menu. Or you can prepare a brunch at home – as we suggest – cooking some of the dishes in advance, to enjoy the company of friends in a family environment.
As for the time, brunch usually takes place between 11 a.m. and 15 p.m.: the aim is precisely to replace lunch with a "longer" meal but often less heavy and abundant, spending a few hours in absolute relaxation.
Brunch: what to serve to drink
But what to serve to drink? Also in this case, different options must be provided that match well with both sweet and savory dishes. American coffee is unmissable, but also espresso can be served, and then various choices for tea, on which you can indulge. But also fruit juices, maybe homemade, centrifuged juices, flavored waters and smoothies are welcome. No alcohol of course.
The recipes for brunch
A selection of quick and easy to make recipes, which will guarantee you the chance to sit at the table with your guests. Because brunch is above all sharing and cooking in advance – in some cases even the day before – will make everything simple and enjoyable. Here are 10 ideas of sweet and savory recipes to try for your brunches.
1. Salmon club sandwich
A must in a brunch, the club sandwich is a multi-layered sandwich invented at the Union Club of New York. The original recipe includes toasted bread, chicken and/or fried bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, but there are infinite variations. We propose you the salmon club sandwich combined with a soft fresh cheese, avocado and cucumber: fresh and tasty sandwiches to prepare in advance and bring to the table in small pieces already cut.
2. Small bread croutons with pumpkin and rocket pesto
These small bread croutons are perfect for your vegetarian guests, with interesting contrasts, thanks to the sweet pumpkin and the bitter rocket, attenatued by the chickpeas hummus, which binds everything. To make the small bread croutons with pumpkin and rocket pesto you will just need just a few but tasty ingredients: pumpkin, rocket, hummus, pomegranate. An original recipe with sure success.
3. Cheese muffins
Soft, delicious cheese muffins, very easy to prepare. A simple dough to which you can add the type of cheese you prefer or simply the one you have in the refrigerator today. Perfect to be enjoyed cold, you can also prepare them the day before and heat them for a few seconds. For those who prefer a more tasty variant, there is also the recipe for spinach and feta cheese muffins.
4. Eggplant patties
Eggplant patties tasty and meat-free, to prepare in advance: you can fry them, as in our recipe, or bake them in the oven. The inside can also be varied in many ways: the eggplants can be steamed rather than stewed, you can replace the parmesan cheese with the pecorino cheese for a more decisive taste, or put the mint, to have more fragrant patties. Accompany them with a yogurt sauce such as tzatziki, a perfect match.
5. Savory ring-shaped brioche
A soft and delicious savory pie to accompany with onion chutneys or with a chickpeas hummus. Made with a base of savory ring-shaped brioche it can be served whole or cut into pieces. In the recipe there is a filling of ham and cheese, but this can also be varied by inserting vegetables such as zucchini or grated carrots.
6. Apple pancakes
A must-have dish for a real American brunch, the pancakes. In the case of apple pancakes recipe, you will just need flour, eggs, butter and little else. Once the batter is prepared, just cook it – one ladle at a time – on a non-stick pan for a few minutes. In this case we have also included in the original recipe the apples cut into small pieces, in order to make the dish more tasty. You can accompany them with acacia honey or the classic maple syrup.
7. Danish swirl desserts
Typical Danish desserts, the Danish swirl desserts are made with a base of brioche dough filled with pastry cream and raisins: but you can try them in different variations, for example adding chocolate drops. These swirl desserts are very popular in Denmark, where they are used for breakfast but also during the day: ideal for your brunch, to be presented with any type of cream or jam.
8. Lemon pound cake
Lemon pound cake is a soft and delicious American dessert. The recipe originates from eighteenth-century England: its name recalls the units of measurement used to prepare it. This version of the lemon pound cake is a delicious variant ideal for brunch: the dough is usually cooked in the plum cake mold and, once ready, the pound cake will be covered with a fresh white lemon icing.
9. Small squares of ricotta cheese with chocolate drops
The small squares of ricotta cheese with chocolate drops are made with layers of sponge cake that enclose a soft ricotta cheese heart, enriched with chocolate drops. The particularity of this cake is in the cooking: it will be necessary to cook first half of the dough for about ten minutes, then pour the ricotta cheese cream over it, and then the rest of the dough, to continue cooking: in this way you will get a creamy filling that does not sinks. Perfect for a sweet brunch, served with American coffee and tea.
10. Mini-cheesecake with apricot jam
The mini-cheesecakes with apricot jam are easy and perfect mini-cakes to prepare in advance for a brunch: the recipe refers to the English version of the cheesecake, which does not include cooking but some time in the refrigerator. The softness of the cheese and the freshness of the apricots, combined with the butteriness of the cookies, will make these mini-cheesecakes a real success.