Several years ago my sister and I decided to do a brunch for Christmas day as opposed to the traditional spread. It was one of my favorite holiday meals to date because it was easy to plan, easy to prepare, and delicious to eat. Brunch is such an easy way to entertain and this book provides endless inspiration from traditional brunch fare, Mile-High Popovers, to twists on old favorites, Eggs Benedict with New Orleans Accents.
In addition to beautiful recipes, Rosbottom includes instructions on prep time, start-to-finish time, and whether the recipe can be made ahead. Many recipes also includes helpful cooking tips and market tips and I found this to be one of my favorite aspects of the book. I also appreciated The Brunch Planner highlighting menus for any type of brunch you may be putting together.
I am a visual person and have a hard time getting inspired by a cookbook without photographs so I appreciated the lovely photographs that accompany most of the recipes.
While the focus of the book is brunch, many of the recipes can be applied to other meals. I made this Duo of Melons with Honey, Lime, and Ginger for a 4th of July cookout and am serving the Gratin of Eggs, Leeks, Bacon, and St. Andre Cheese for dinner tonight. I'm looking forward to making the Tart Cherry and Almond Muffins, Caramelized Shallot and Ham Tartlets, Smoked Sausage and Apple Hash, and Roasted Sweet Potato Hash Browns soon whenever the mood strikes.
Duo of Melons with Honey, Lime, and Ginger is a fantastic way to take not only advantage of all of the beautiful melons that are in season but to fancy them up just a bit. Pulling out my melon baller, I set about creating little orbs of fruit to later bath in a sauce of pureed melon, honey, and lime juice. A scattering of crystallized ginger adds some texture and a tiny bit of heat. You could certainly omit this flourish and still have a delicious and refreshing dish for breakfast, as a side at lunch, or for dessert. I loved the sweetness from the honey and the acid from the lime. Easy to prepare and just different enough to impress.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of Sunday Brunch: Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings as it truly lives up to its name!
Duo of Melons with Honey, Lime, and Ginger
Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings, Betty Rosbottom
One medium cantaloupe (about 2 1/2 lbs)
One medium watermelon, preferably seedless (about 5 lbs)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (3 to 4 limes)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
6 mint sprigs
Using a melon baller, scoop out 2 cups of cantaloupe and 2 cups of watermelon. Place the balls in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. (The balls can be prepared up to 6 hours in advance.)
Chop 1 cup of cantaloupe and 1 cup of watermelon and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add the lime juice and honey and process until the melons are pureed and well blended with the lime juice and honey. Strain the sauce over a 2-cup or larger measuring cup with a spout to remove any seeds. use a spatula to press down on the pulp to release all of the juices. You should get about 2 cups of sauce. cover the sauce with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator until icy cold, at least 1 hour. (The sauce can be prepared up to 6 hours in advance.)
Divide the melon balls evenly among six martini or wide-mouthed wine glasses and pour about 1/3 cup of the sauce over each. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon candied ginger and garnish each with a mint sprig. Serve cold.