From Breakfast In Bed To Summer Brunch
Picture a luxurious breakfast in bed, served on a tray by loved ones, embellished with a thoughtfully selected card or sweet ones handmade by the kids. The tray holds a small vase of flowers, a cup of favorite coffee or tea, and a plate of something scrumptious to start the day. Those are the images of many a mother’s dreams, particularly on Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is Sunday May 8 and the good news is it’s easy to make those dreams come true. There’s no better way to let Mom know she’s loved than to start her celebration with breakfast in bed. So, gentlemen and older kids in the house, let’s talk breakfast menus! Fluffy scrambled eggs and a toasted English muffin with jam are always welcome, and French toast garnished with ripe strawberries or raspberries is tempting, but if you want to sweep Mom off her feet this year, my Breakfast Bruschetta with Blueberry Compote is without a doubt a tasty way to make that happen. For convenience, most of the recipe components may be prepared a day ahead and assembled just before serving.
I love recipes that function well in multiple roles, and this one does just that. Now that spring has arrived and summer days are not far off, I’m dreaming of the relaxing al fresco brunches my husband Randy and I will enjoy during the next several months. Seated under shade trees with mountain views in nearly every direction, weekend brunch-for-two or with friends can be the catalyst for a romantic, quiet interlude that’s as close as the patio or garden. Whether keeping it simple or going the whole nine yards and dining at a table draped in elegant linens and set with china, a platter of breakfast bruschetta is well suited to any size gathering.
For this dish, I’ve put a new spin on the usually savory bruschetta by substituting fruit for the traditional fresh tomato and basil topping. I lightly brush thick slices of rustic bread with blood orange infused olive oil to provide a subtle layer of citrus flavor, though any olive oil will do, and toast them in a hot oven until they are golden brown. This step may be done one day ahead, though I suggest toasting the bread again for a minute or two shortly before serving to ensure the bread is crisp, not chewy. A blueberry compote made of fresh or frozen blueberries, a bit of sugar, and water are cooked until the mixture begins to thicken, then is set aside to cool. The compote may be made up to three days in advance, covered, and chilled.
Just before serving, spread the toasted bread slices with ricotta or softened cream cheese, top each with a spoonful of blueberry compote, and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Arranged on a plate and served with Mom’s favorite cuppa, this irresistible Mother’s Day breakfast will win her heart. For Sunday brunch buffets, arrange prepared bruschetta on a platter, slightly overlapping each slice. Leftover blueberry compote is delicious served on pancakes, scones, cheesecake, or ice cream.
Breakfast Bruschetta with Blueberry Compote
- 1 medium loaf rustic bread
- 1 tablespoon blood orange infused or other olive oil
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 ounces ricotta or softened cream cheese
- Fresh mint sprigs and leaves, rinsed, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the bread into ½-inch thick slices and cut large slices in half. Brush both sides lightly with oil and place them on a large baking sheet. Toast the breads 5 to 10 minutes until they are golden brown, turning them over halfway through.
In a medium saucepan, gently stir together blueberries, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer the blueberries 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the compote thickens.
Cool 10 minutes, then transfer the compote to a serving bowl. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Chill until ready to serve or cover and chill up to 3 days.
Just before serving, generously spread ricotta or softened cream cheese over the toasted bread slices. Top with blueberry compote and garnish each with a leaf or sprig of fresh mint.
Yield: 8 servings