Big on Brunch

By Terese Allen, Organic Valley Food Editor

Entertaining is getting easier. There’s fewer multi-coursed, sit-down dinners staged by fussy hosts; today’s gatherings are more casual, more family-oriented, more likely to have everyone pitching in. And that’s especially good news in spring, when the calendar fills with many happy reasons to share a meal, including Mother’s Day, graduations, wedding showers and garden parties.

If you’re hosting a get-together, consider brunch, a meal that’s unpretentious by nature and easy to execute. Start with something celebratory, maybe a spectacular-looking fruit platter or a tray of crystal glasses filled with sparking cider. Your guests can nibble, sip and enjoy—and so can you—while a make-ahead main dish like asparagus-cheese strata bakes in the oven. Or make it a participatory event and ask one guest to stir velvety scrambled eggs over a low flame while another one dips strawberries into molten chocolate.

The beauty of a brunch menu is that almost anything goes. From breakfast breads and egg dishes to salads, pastas and other luncheon fare, you can start with just one centerpiece preparation. Then, to make the meal bountiful, add easy side dishes like griddled-cooked turkey bacon or a spread of organic cheese. And if you want to make it fancy (but still fuss-free) add a special touch: Organic Valley’s luscious Pasture Butter mixed with edible flower petals and piped into flower-shaped butter pats.

See this month’s recipes below, and check out our brunch menu suggestions.

Brunch Recipes

Pasture Butter Gems– Flavored butter pats to serve atop waffles or French toast, or with muffins or toast.

Asparagus, Ramps and Baby Swiss Strata – A savory bread pudding for the season of green.

Creamy Slow-Scrambled Eggs – As a timeless symbol of fertility, eggs are especially fitting in spring and they get the special treatment here.

Sweet Corn Chili-Cheddar Wedges – Equally at home as a main or side dish.

Linguine Carbonara with Turkey Bacon – Pasta for brunch? Certainly, and especially if it’s made with bacon and eggs.

Brunch Burritos  – A hearty hash of potatoes, chorizo, eggs and salsa rolled up in flour tortillas.

Wild Rice Pudding with Dried Cherries and Apple Saute – Proof that comfort food can be exciting, too.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries – So much pleasure, so little effort!

Ginger Rhubarb Custard Crisp – Crystallized ginger gives bursts of spice to this cross between a fruit crisp and a pudding.

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