coastal-brunch
By late May in Santa Barbara, the farmers’ markets are brimming with beautiful local produce. Spring is fully here, and what better way to celebrate than with a big seasonal feast? On a recent Sunday, friends and family joined me at home for an elegant brunch, showcasing some delicious recipes I created and served on Oscar de la Renta tableware.
We toasted to taking time to live life and have fun with fresh-squeezed mimosas, and enjoyed a roasted leg of lamb with mint gremolata.

Altogether this menu is fresh and light (the whipped ricotta and fresh spring pea crostini are divine), yet satisfying, and I love how it ends on a sweet, zesty note with a meyer lemon panna cotta.

Why not invite some friends and family over to enjoy what the season has to offer? This menu is easy enough for one person to put together—but feel empowered to get as much help as you’d like.

Remember, you work so hard, it’s important to take the time to share delicious food and fun with those you love. Bon Appetit!

 

 

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Mimosa Bar

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Basil Peach Bellini

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 3 min

1 cup peach nectar
1/3 cup basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup frozen peaches, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the peach nectar, basil leaves and lemon juice for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and steep the basil in the nectar until the nectar has become room temperature, about 15 minutes. Strain the nectar and pour it into a blender along with the peaches and puree until smooth. Chill until ready to use. For each bellini, pour 2 ounces of the peach puree into a champagne flute and top with prosecco or sparkling wine.

Blood Orange Mimosa

Prep: 5 min

1 cup blood orange juice (from 8 to 10 blood oranges)
Campari
Orange twists, for garnish

For each mimosa, place 2 ounces blood orange juice and 1 ounce campari into a champage flute and top with cava or sparkling wine and garnish with an orange twist.

Lavender Lemonade Champagne Cocktail

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 5 min

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lavender buds
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lavender blossoms, for garnish)

Place the water and sugar in a small pot over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer and add the lavender. Remove from the heat and allow to steep, covered for 20 minutes. Strain the lavender syrup and allow to cool to room temperature.

For each cocktail combine 2 ounces of the lemon juice and 1 1/2 ounces of the lavender syrup in the bottom of a champage flute and top with champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a lavender blossom

 

Mini Pea and Ricotta Tartines

mini-pea

Mini Pea and Ricotta Tartines

Prep: 10 min
Cook: 3 min

1 french baguette, sliced into 1-inch rounds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
1 15-ounce container of whole milk ricotta
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh peas, blanched or frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup pea sprouts, stems removed

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Brush the baguette slices on both sides with olive oil. Bake until the crostini are golden, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, ½ of the lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. In a small bowl toss the peas with the mint, remaining teaspoon of olive oil and reserved 1/4 teaspoon of salt, ½ of lemon zest.

To assemble the tartines, spread 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto each slice of baguette. Spoon a teaspoon of the pea mixture on top of the ricotta and garnish with pea sprouts.

Yield: 18- 20 tartines

 
Spring Vegetable Salad

mixed-salad

Spring Vegetable Salad

Prep: 15 min

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon aged white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch small radishes, trimmed and quartered
1 small fennel bulb, cored and shaved
1 cup sugar snap peas, halved
1/4 cup fresh chervil, chopped
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
1 4-ounce bag upland cress
2 cups mache (about 8 rosettes)
1 tablespoon edible flowers
1 small clove minced garlic

In a small bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine the radishes, fennel and snap peas. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus into long, thin strips. The tips will snap off as the spears get thinner. Add the asparagus shavings and tips to the bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently to coat. Add the chervil, mint, and upland cress and mache and toss gently. Transfer the salad to a large bowl or platter. Garnish with edible flowers.

Yield: 6 servivngs

 
Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb with Mint Gremolata

lamb-dish

Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb with Mint Gremolatas

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 1 Hour 30 min

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsely
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh marjoram
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 4-5 pound boneless leg of lamb, fat trimmed and butterflied
Cooking twine

Mint Gremolata

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup finely chopped parsely
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, shallot, mint, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, parsley, marjoram, oregano, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spread the lamb out on a work surface, and spread half of the herb mixture over it. Roll the lamb up, with the herb mixture on the inside, and tie with twine at 1-inch intervals. Rub the remaining herb mixture over the outside of the lamb and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Allow the lamb to come to room temperature before roasting, or refrigerate for up to 1 day ahead. Place two bay leaves under lamb.

Place the lamb on a wire rack over a roasting pan and roast at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and roast for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 125 degrees for medium-rare or 140 degrees for medium. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and tent loosely with aluminum foil, allowing the lamb to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Transfer the lamb slices to a platter and serve with mint gremolata.

Yield: 6 servings

 

Frittata with Baby Kale, Pancetta and Parmesan

fritatta-dish

Frittata with Baby Kale, Pancetta and Parmesan

Prep: 10 min
Cook: 20 min

8 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces diced pancetta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, chopped into 1/4 inch half moons
2 cups baby kale

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler to low. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, 1/4 cup of parmesan, pepper and salt. Place a 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally until the pancetta is golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a paper towel lined plate and pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the grease in the pan. Add the olive oil and leeks and saute until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the kale and saute until it is wilted, about 2 more minutes. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and add the cooked pancetta. As the egg mixture begins to set, use a rubber spatual to gently lift the cooked edges of the frittata to allow the uncooked portion to flow into the bottom of the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes until the eggs are set but still moist. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the top of the frittata is beginning to brown. To serve, gently transfer the frittata to a cutting board and slice into wedges.

Yield: 6 servings

 

 

Herb Roasted Heirloom Carrots

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 40 min

2 bunches heirloom carrots, peeled and trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
Maldon salt for garnish (optional)


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, salt and pepper. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Arrange the carrots in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until they are golden and crispy on the edges. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with maldon if desired and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

 
Panna Cotta Meyer Lemon Curd with Candied Kumquat

panna-cotta

Panna Cotta Meyer Lemon Curd with Candied Kumquat

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10 min

2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons meyer lemon zest (from 2 large meyer lemons)
1 cup half and half or whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons meyer lemon zest (from 2 large meyer lemons)
1 cup half and half or whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
 

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 5 minutes. Combine the cream and lemon zest in a large saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes then strain the cream to remove the zest. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to stand for 3 minutes. Pour the strained cream back into the saucepan along with the half and half, sugar and salt and bring to a simmer, stirring continuously to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minutes. Add the gelatin to the cream mixture and stir for 1 minute to dissolve. Pour the mixture into wine glasses or any small glass jar or cup. Chill covered for at least 4 hours until the panna cotta is set. Top with a generous layer of lemon curd and garnish with candied kumquats.

Yield: 4- 6 servings

Meyer Lemon Curd

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10 min

2 tablespoons meyer lemon zest (from 2 large meyer lemons)
1 cup meyer lemon juice (from 4 to 6 large meyer lemons)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced

Fill a medium saucepan 1/3 of the way full with water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Place the lemon zest, juice, sugar, eggs and yolks in a stainless steel bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally with a whisk until the lemon curd has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat and transfer. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time, whisking to incorporate it into the curd. Cover the surface of the curd lightly with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups curd

Candied Kumquats

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 15 min

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup kumquats (about 12 medium kumquats), sliced into rounds
Optional: teaspoon rosewater

Place the water and sugar into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium, add the kumquat slices and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kumquats become tender and translucent, about 15 minutes. Remove the kumquats with a slotted spoon and lay them out on a rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Place into a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: About 30 candied slices

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