Springtime Brunch

Whether you’re celebrating Mother’s Day, graduation, or just the chance to have a cocktail before noon, try this menu from New York brunch mecca Joseph Leonard restaurant

Dinner parties get the glory. But James McDuffee, chef at New York’s Joseph Leonard, makes a strong case for brunchtime entertaining: “You hang out with your friends while the sun is up, it’s relaxed, and you won’t be doing dishes at one in the morning.” Plus, he adds, it’s often easier on the pocketbook than dinner. We asked the brunch expert (you should see the line at the West Village spot on a Sunday) for a menu that’s simple to pull off and sure to please. So get this party started early.

Company Eggs

ACTIVE 45 MINUTES TOTAL 1 HOUR

6 SERVINGS

This dish is a great way to serve eggs for a group. Take the eggs out of the oven when the whites are slightly under-cooked; carryover cooking will finish them.

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 bunches Swiss chard, thick center ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 12 cups)

1/2 cup heavy cream

12 large eggs

2 oz. sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400A[degrees]. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 810 minutes.

Add chard to skillet by the handful, tossing to wilt between additions. Cook, tossing often, until tender, 810 minutes. Add cream and simmer until thickened and almost evaporated, 810 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Spread chard mixture evenly in a 13A9A2″ baking dish. Using the back of a spoon, make 12 small, evenly spaced divots in the chard mixture. Crack 1 egg into each divot. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese over.

Bake, rotating dish once, until egg whites are almost set and yolks are still runny, 1518 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

DO AHEAD:

The chard and cream mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat before transferring to baking dish.

Cucumber and Radish Salad

ACTIVE 10 MINUTES TOTAL 15 MINUTES

6 SERVINGS

There are all kinds of radishes available at the markets in the spring use any shape or color that looks good to you.

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 lb. English hothouse, Persian, or Japanese cucumbers, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 bunch radishes, trimmed, cut into thin wedges

2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped, 1/2 cup left whole

Preheat oven to 350A[degrees]. Spread almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 810 minutes; let cool.

Whisk shallot, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add cucumbers, radishes, parsley, and almonds; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

522 North Pinckney Cocktail

ACTIVE 10 MINUTES TOTAL 2 HOURS (INCLUDES CHILLING TIME)

8 SERVINGS

Named for bar and spirits director Brian Bartels’s former address, this is a more complex take on a Mimosa.

2 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice (from 23 grapefruits)

1/2 cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)

1/4 cup Campari

1 750-ml. bottle chilled sparkling wine

Combine grapefruit juice, St-Germain, and Campari in a large pitcher. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.

Divide grapefruit mixture among glasses and top off with sparkling wine.

DO AHEAD:

Grapefruit mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Skillet Hash Browns

ACTIVE 40 MINUTES TOTAL 40 MINUTES

6 SERVINGS

Here’s a recipe that justifies the existence of that food processor grating disk (you didn’t throw it out, we hope). If you don’t have one, a box grater will do.

5 russet potatoes (about 3 lb.), peeled, coarsely shredded

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

8 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

2 bunches scallions, greens and whites separated, thinly sliced

Coarse sea salt (such as Maldon)

Rinse potatoes in a colander under cold water until water runs clear. Squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a large bowl. Add salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Heat 6 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of potatoes; press gently into an even layer. Sprinkle with scallion whites. Top with remaining potatoes; press gently again. Cook until golden brown on bottom and sides, 1015 minutes.

Slide hash browns onto a plate. Carefully place skillet upside down over hash browns and flip to invert into skillet, browned side up. Drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp. oil around sides of skillet. Cook hash browns until bottom is golden brown, 1015 minutes longer; slide onto a plate and season with sea salt. Top with scallion greens and cut into wedges.

DO AHEAD:

Hash browns can be made 1 hour ahead. Place on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet and keep them in a 200A[degrees] oven. Top with scallions before serving.

THE MENU

Company Eggs

Skillet Hash Browns Cucumber

Radish Salad

522 North Pinckney Cocktail

THE PLAN

The night before

Cook the chard and cream mixture for the egg dish. Toast the almonds and make the vinaigrette for the salad. Chill the grapefruit, St-Germain, and Campari mixture for the cocktails.

90 minutes ahead

Make the hash browns; keep warm. Prep the cucumber, radishes, and parsley for the salad. Cover, then chill (dress the salad right before serving).

Just before guests arrive

Reheat chard mixture. Assemble the egg dish; pop it in the oven.


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