Early Easter Brunch

For the last week, I’ve been tucked away in New Mexico.
It was Spring Break for us here in Colorado, and a gracious host welcomed us
into a desert-colored hacienda for four endless days of nothingness.
The family and I cracked crystalline icicles from the sides of stranger’s roofs.
We swung ourselves silly at a playground in the bitter New Mexico wind.
We tubed down snow-packed hills, watched thick lazy hours roll over our rested bodies, and supped a thousand times a day on popcorn and licorice and shrimp tacos.
I poured this book, and this book, and this book right into my schedule,
and sunk deeply into a cashmere-soft mattress for hours and hours and hours.
(Pssst….The first book was my favorite. A must read, I tell you. Donald Miller is a delight.)
Welcome Spring, I sang as I breathed mountain air into pink lungs.
Welcome Spring, I whispered through the windblown hair of my sunshined children.
Welcome Spring, I prayed into our week of slow renewal.
Welcome Spring. We’ve been waiting.
For months, I’ve oohed and ahhhed myself giddy over Katie Goodman’s
gorgeous food site, {goodLife}eats.
Her fresh, family recipe offerings and impeccable photography are
truly inspiration waiting to be welcomed into your kitchen.
We’d chatted back and forth for weeks, trying to conjure an ideal Easter treat for our beloved readers. When the idea of collaborating on a Spring Brunch was thunk into existence, we knew it was more than a delightsome idea, it was very precisely the sort of plan that needed to be put into action.
We chose our season-inspired party theme: palest yellow and grassy green.
She offered an irresistible idea for the entree, side and drink. I promised a salad and a sweet.
With plans in place, we set ourselves straight into motion.
Chopping, slicing, writing, revamping, tasting, trying, photographing, sighing.
She in her neck of the woods. Me in mine.
Never, no not once, were we in the same kitchen.
But, praise heaven and hallelujah. We were most certainly of the same mind.
The menu came together seamlessly.
A perfect spring gift, we hope, for the very finest people we know.
Enjoy, dear readers. Happy Spring.
Warm Spring Salad
featuring Honey-Sweetened Walnuts, Prosciutto, Peas
and a Tangy Raspberry Dressing
What happens when you take cool crisp butter lettuce, top it with honeyed walnuts, fried prosciutto, snap peas, sliced brie, and drizzle a piping hot raspberry dressing over the top? Why, pure magic, that’s what. This salad combines the best flavors of a budding spring–fresh greens and tender peas–with the comforting flavors and textures of salty prosciuttio and smooth, melty brie cheese. I adore it utterly. I hope you do, too.
Honey Sweetened Walnuts
1/2 c. raw walnut halves
1 T. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
In a small, non-stick saucepan, heat all ingredients over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook until the honey begins to caramelized and thicken on the walnuts, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to parchment paper & allow to cool.
Warm Spring Salad
Serves 2-4
5-6 c. butter lettuce, mache or spring greens
4-5 slices prosciutto, cut in strips and flash fried in hot olive oil
1/2 c. snap peas, diced
3 clementines, peeled and sliced thin
6 oz. brie with rind, sliced thin
1/2 c. honey sweetened walnuts
Tangy Raspberry Dressing
1 c. raspberries
1/4 c. honey
1 1/2 T. country dijon mustard
2 T. olive oil
1 T. jalapeno jelly (optional)
In a small saucepan, crush raspberries (I used frozen). Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Drizzle hot dressing over salad.
Coconut-Lemon Angel Cake
Resplendent with sparkling lemon curd, topped with a soft and whippy buttercream.
Does heaven sew it’s clouds of coconuts and stream a lemon sunshine? After enjoying this light, simple dessert, you’ll hope for such a truth as that. Utterly and divinely springalicious.
Homemade Lemon Curd
(adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
When making the curd, remember to save your egg yolks. You’ll need them for the coconut frosting!
Zest & Juice of 4 lemons
2 T. water
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
Put zest, juice, butter and sugar in the top of a double broiler (or bowl over simmering water.) Stir constantly while the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until well blended. Pour a tiny bit of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs, then pour the egg mixture into the lemon mixture and stir constantly until the curd is thick (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat. Allow to cool before serving. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Fluffy Coconut Frosting
(if you are averse to uncooked egg whites, just whip up a half pint of heavy whipping cream. Once fluffy, add 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 c. of finely shredded coconut and 1/2 tsp. of coconut extract, then spread on cake as outlined in the instructions.)
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 egg whites
2/3 c. finely shredded coconut
Cream the butter. Slowly add half of the sugar and all of the coconut, then set aside. Beat the egg whites until very foamy, slowly add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until stiff. Combine the two mixtures and blend. Add more sugar to thicken the frosting, if desired.
Assembling the Cake
Slice a store-bought or homemade angel food cake through the center and gently remove the top half of the cake. Spread a generous layer of lemon curd across the middle of the cake. Replace top half of cake, the heap the coconut frosting atop. Decorate with lemon slices then drizzle lemon curd over the top of the cake. Serve accompanied with warm lemon curd.
To discover Katie’s Spring Brunch recipes:
Mushroom, Leek & Gruyere Mini Tarts, Roasted Carrots & Sunshine Nectar
please visit goodLife{eats} by clicking here.