Every year we host our "Spring Fling," or Easter Sunday Brunch. I tell myself every year I'm not going to slave over the oven and stove with complicated dishes to serve. So this year, I've compiled a few of my favorite easy, yet impressive Easter Brunch dishes, so you can enjoy the company of your guests too!
The grapefruit and avocado smoked salmon salad is PERFECT with mimosas, and if you're not an orange juice person, just skip it and have a glass of champagne with the shrimp wontons!
The pork tenderloin can easily be substituted with beef or chicken, and the pasta primavera dish is easily made with gluten-free pasta for a healthier alternative.
Regardless of how you make ANY of these dishes, your guests will be sure to compliment your cooking, AND you'll have time to enjoy!
Cut off the top 1/8 of the tomato and hollow out the interior using a melon baller or spoon. Discard the top, center and seeds. Pat the inside dry with a paper towel.
Crack and place 1 egg into the center of each of the tomatoes. You may need to spoon out just a bit of the egg whites if the tomato isn't big enough to hold the entire egg.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the eggs. Reserve about 2 tbsp. for garnish at the end.
Sprinkle basil evenly over the cheese on each of the stuffed tomatoes.
Lightly season each with 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Unroll the crescent dough and place on a flat sheet. Separate each of the triangles.
Set one of the tomatoes on top of each of the triangles. Stretch the three ends of the crescent triangle out so they meet at the top of the tomato and twist around the center. Lay the twist on top of the tomato. Place all the wrapped tomatoes onto a non-stick cookie sheet.
Brush each of the wrapped tomatoes with the melted butter or olive oil, coating the tops and sides of the crescent dough.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the wrapped tomatoes.
Place in the oven on the center rack and bake at 350 degrees until the eggs are soft set and crescent dough is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Place the pork tenderloin in a large, sealable plastic bag. Add 2 tsp. each of ground sea salt and cracked black pepper. Add the pressed garlic cloves and the 3 tbsp. of the fresh rosemary. Drizzle in about a tbsp. of olive oil. Seal the bag and massage all the ingredients into the meat for about 1 minute. Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large skillet to high heat with about 1 tbsp. olive oil. When the oil is heated, add the pork tenderloin and ALL the oil/juices from the marinade bag. Sear the pork for about 3 minutes on all sides, until it has a nice, dark brown color. Remove the heat from the pan, reserve the heated pan and its drippings.
Wrap the meat tin foil and place it in a casserole or glass baking dish. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until inside temperature reaches 135-140 degrees. Remove from the heat and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before unwrapping, slicing and serving.
While the meat is cooling, re-heat the large skillet to medium heat and add the peppers and mushrooms. De-glaze the pan with about 1/2 cup water or chicken broth and stir the juices into the veggies. Season the veggies with the onion powder, the remaining tbsp. of fresh rosemary and salt & pepper to taste. Cook the mushrooms and peppers on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the green beans and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the green beans are softened, but still slightly crunchy.
To serve: Arrange the pork tenderloin on a serving dish. Slice it on a bias to create 1" thick slices. Pour the veggies and the drippings from the pan around the sides and serve.
5 oz. baby spring mix salad greens, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Section the grapefruit by cutting off the top and bottom, then slicing next to the inner endocarp (edible fruit section), removing all the white pith around the edges. Next, slice inbetween the white membrane sections, removing ONLY the edible fruit sections. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Peel, seed and slice the avocados into 1/2 inch slices, set aside.
Roll the salmon slices into 1" rolls, set aside.
Arrange the slices of the avocado, grapefruit and salmon onto a large serving dish around the edges of the plate.
In a separate mixing bowl add the chopped spring mix, pomegranate seeds and pepitas. Toss to combine.
In a separate small bowl, combine the mustard, agave nectar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and add to the salad mixture. Toss the salad and dressing together until combined.
Place the salad into the center of the serving dish with the salmon, avocado and grapefruit. Garnish with a light dusting of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
4. Baked Wontons with Lemon Shrimp & Champagne Pesto
In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the olive oil.
Pulse until combined, scrape down sides with a spatula, and mix again on high speed for about 10 seconds. Drizzle in olive oil and mix for about 1 minute until smooth.
Lemon Shrimp Ingredients:
1 lb. shrimp, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (score the peel and save for garnish)
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (plus 12 small sprigs for garnish)
1/4 tsp. each salt/pepper
Heat the olive oil on high heat in a large skillet. Add the thyme and chives and stir until combined. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn off heat, add the lemon juice and allow it to steam to finish cooking for about 3 minutes.
12 wonton sheets
1/2 cup olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place the wontons on a cookie sheet and brush the wontons with olive oil or spray with cooking spray on both sides.
Bake in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
Place a wonton sheet onto an individual appetizer dish. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of the pesto into the center.
Place 3-4 pieces of the shrimp on top of the pesto.
Garnish with a few pieces of scored lemon peel and a small sprig of thyme.
10-12 stalks pencil asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in half
1 cup frozen English peas
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. herbs de provence (more or less to your taste)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir. Boil for about 7 minutes until the noodles are soft. Drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok on medium heat. Add the carrots and bell peppers. Stir and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, asparagus and peas. Season with herbs de provence, garlic powder and salt & pepper to taste. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Stir the pasta back in and add the grape tomatoes. Stir until combined. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
To Serve: Place the desired amount on a serving plate. Top with fresh basil and a dusting of Parmesan cheese.