Summer Brunch Menu

Last weekend I hosted a brunch for some lovely ladies.  I’ve actually never done brunch before but wow, it’s much easier than having people over for dinner.  I always enjoy entertaining at dinner time but truth be told, it’s a lot of work.  I had people over the weekend before for an Indian meal and I think I started cooking two days beforehand.  Brunch is much simpler and the best part is that after about noon, you still have the rest of the day to enjoy to yourself.

I’ve had this recipe in the back of my head for years.  It’s actually in my all time favorite (and very first!) cookbook.  I’ve tried at least half of the recipes in this cookbook and they have all turned out beautifully.  For some reason, I had never tried this frittata recipe until last Saturday.  I have to say, hands down, the best frittata recipe.  Ever.  It cooks up much like a soufflé but doesn’t collapse.  The gruyere and ricotta take it over the top and the basil and potato combination are a good balance.  This would make a great vegetarian supper alongside a mixed green salad and crusty bread.

The girls and I had this frittata alongside blueberry coffee cake muffins (thanks, Ina), fruit and orange yogurt (thanks again, Ina!).  I have made a new resolution in my meal planning to not purchase sweetened yogurts.  Even the organic yogurts have a ton of sugar in them and this orange yogurt proved to me how easy it is to “doctor up” plain yogurt by straining all the liquid out (essentially Greek yogurt) and adding your own sweeteners to your liking.  I’m hoping to try a honey and vanilla combination very soon.

So if you’re wanting to entertain friends but a dinner party sounds daunting, try brunch!  Let me know if you try either of these recipes!

Potato Basil Frittata

Recipe Adapted From:  Ina Garten

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups peeled and 1/2-inch diced Yukon Gold potatoes (4 potatoes)
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese (I used low fat)
  • 3/4 pound Gruyere cheese, grated (I used a prepackaged mixed grated cheese combination for fondue that I found at Whole Foods…slightly less expensive per pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch ovenproof omelette pan over medium-low heat.  Add the potatoes and fry them until cooked through, turning often, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small dish in the microwave.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, then stir in the ricotta, Gruyere, melted butter, salt, pepper, and basil.  Sprinkle on the flour and baking powder and stir into the egg mixture.

Spray the pan liberally with non-stick cooking spray then pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata until it is browned and puffed, 50 minutes to 1 hour.  It will be rounded and firm in the middle and a knife inserted in the frittata should come out clean.  Serve hot.  This dish serves about 8 people generously.

Orange Yogurt

Recipe Courtesy Of:  Ina Garten

  • 1 quart plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup good honey
  • 1 orange, zest grated
  • 1/2 to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Orange, orange zest, raisins and walnuts, for garnish (optional)

Line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels and suspend it over a bowl.  Pour the yogurt into the sieve and allow it to drain, refrigerated, for 3 hours or overnight.

Place the thickened yogurt into a medium bowl and stir in the raisins, walnuts, vanilla, honey, and orange zest.  Thin with orange juice until it is a desirable consistency.  Garnish with sections of orange, orange zest, raisins, or walnuts and serve.

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Comments

  • Christina June 21, 2012 Reply

    Brunch is my all time favorite meal, too. To eat, to cook, and to host. Frittatas are a staple in our house and this one was one of the best I’ve ever had. The souffle-like quality plus one of my favorite Switzerland cheeses won me over completely. Thanks for introducing me to it, and for the recipe!

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