Recipes: Brunch Winter Salad and Crepes
Brunch is the best meal of the day. Almost anything goes—breakfast foods, mid-day fare, (even desserts) served up on a buffet or already plated at the table. When planning what to serve, I take inspiration from (Fancy Nancy) and what’s seasonal and available at the market. That said…it’s winter in Sweden and the produce is still on the dull side, so…I decided to make a “Winter Salad”—there’s nothing dull about it.
Winter Salad: (tweak as you wish)
Start with a bed of mixed greens—ruccula, spinach, anything pre-washed and mixed
Add dried fruit—apricots and Craisins
Cheese—a mild crumbled blue, tangy but not too strong
Fresh fruit—green grapes halved and blueberries (strawberries work great too)
Nuts—slivered and toasted almonds (pine-nuts are also lovely)
(Pictured here before adding nuts and cheese)
The Dressing (this is key):
Blend the following in a food processor:
½ red or yellow onion (about half cup chopped)
½ C. Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
¾ C. sugar
1 C. Olive Oil
2 tsp. dry mustard
1½ tsp. salt
It helps if you have a crepe pan. I know, something else to buy (and store), but once you have it then you have it, and you’ll want to make crepes! Your family and friends will love you for it.
1½ C milk
1 C flour
1 T. cooking oil
Beat with a mixer (or whisk if you can’t find the beater blades) until nicely blended. The batter should be thin and runny and have a few small lumps (in other words it should look dreadful). Let it rest 10 minutes only if you have the time or stick it in the fridge for morning if making ahead.
When you’re ready, heat your pan and swirl (just this once) a dab of butter around so nothing sticks. Ladle your first 1/2 to 3/4 C of batter onto the hot surface and tilt the pan quickly, (it’s all in the wrist), letting the batter do the work of covering the entire surface. Now, set the pan on the hot stove and watch…
It will make life easier if you have a thin narrow spatula to work under the crepes, but use what you have to do the flipping. The crepe should be slightly golden brown underneath and the other side will stay lighter and won’t take as long to cook.
What to put inside:
If it’s more formal, you can, (only if you want to and you’re slightly OCD), print out a “menu” of suggestions and place it in a frame and set it on the table as part of the décor. Or, keep it casual, a bunch of bowls filled with yummy things.
Two in each category works nicely for a balanced assortment: these are some ideas…
spreads—Nutella (a must have), cream cheese, real whip cream, lemon curd, jams
fruit—bananas, raspberries, kiwi, pears
vegetables—steamed asparagus, mushrooms
cheese—Gouda, Havarti, mozzarella
meat—Parma Ham, turkey, bacon or sausage crumbles
Note: If you have guests coming, for peace of mind, I write down the food I’m going to make on a sticky note and put it in the actual serving dish I’m going to use so I can see how it’s all going to come together on the table. Plus those reminder notes are helpful…there’s nothing worse than cleaning up and finding you left a dish you meant to serve in the microwave (been there done that.)
*To save time you can make the crepes the day before and stack them between sheets of wax paper, or paper towels, and store them in the fridge wrapped in foil. Before your guests arrive, put the bundle in the oven to warm on low heat and as Fancy Nancy would say “Wala, Bon Appetite!”