I recently hosted a brunch at our place for a few friends, assisted by our food contributor Gaby. One of my favorite things about living in L.A. is the abundance of farmers' markets. It's long been a tradition of mine to head to my local one on Sunday with a straw tote for lugging home my bounty. The ritual has evolved over the years, from something I did for myself to feel a bit of connection with others when I was single and in a new city, to years later being a bonding activity with my baby that we "walk" to together from our house (I walk; Sloan of course commutes by stroller).
I love the distinct smell that each farmers' market, no matter which you attend, has: a sweet blend of all the ripe fruits, vegetables, and herbs wafting through the air. I love taking my time perusing the stands, stopping for whatever in-season speciality catches the eye (or nose). I especially love interacting with the vendors, asking them questions, discovering new offerings, and sampling the delicious produce that's better than anything you can get at a grocery store. So it was only a matter of time until I had the idea to serve a seasonal brunch based on shopping solely at the farmers' market, supplemented with some basic pantry staples. The idea is to head out for your ingredients the same morning guests will be coming over, as it makes the whole process fun, fresh, and authentic.
Below are photos from our morning with the full menu, and recipes for the all-star combo: blueberry crumb cakes + signature cocktail. (P.S., We used this recipe for the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, then added fresh berries.)
*Farmers' market items are denoted underneath each dish name.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
1 ¼ cup white sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 Vanilla Bean, seeds removed
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup AP flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
2. Make the lemon crumb topping by combining 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest with the melted butter. Using your fingers, mix it around until its crumbly and set aside.
3. Butter and flour 2 cupcake tins.
4. Toss the blueberries with the 2 tbsp of flour and set aside
5. In small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
6. In a large mixer combine the butter and sugar until pale yellow, add the zest, eggs, and vanilla bean and beat well for an additional 2-3 minutes making sure to scrape down the sides.
7. Alternate adding the flour, and the buttermilk until all is combined, making sure to scrape down the sides during the process.
8. Spoon 1/4 cup of the batter into each cupcake mold. Top with some of the floured blueberries. Sprinkle the top with some of the crumb mixture.
9. Bake for approximately 30 - 35 minutes, or until the cake is light and fluffy.
10. Remove from oven and let cool before serving
1 pint strawberries, trimmed and cleaned
5 basil leaves
2-3 bottles of champagne / prosecco / cava
In a food processor, combine the cleaner berries and the basil. Blend for 2 minutes until totally smooth. Strain the seeds out and set the mixture aside.
To make a spritz, pour about 1-2 teaspoons of the strawberry basil mixture into a champagne glass and then top with the sparkling wine. Serve as needed.
The paper plates and napkins/silverware are all from Toot Sweet. (Best idea ever, so you're not doing dishes the rest of your Sunday).