This year, February 14 falls on a Thursday, so why not have the family over for brunch on the weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Before enjoying a romantic dinner with your husband or wife, plan a love-themed brunch for your true sweethearts – your children and grandchildren. There are plenty of Valentine brunch dishes to choose from, like Sweet Berry Bruschetta, Mini Pizza with Egg, Mascarpone Blueberry Panettone, Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Hearts, Valentine’s Day Egg in a Basket, Strawberry Love Muffins, Baked Eggs with Bacon and Parmigiano, Ricotta Pancakes with Orange Syrup, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata or Heart-Shaped Mini Muffins. We could not provide recipes for all, so below are a few of our favorites.
Create a festive atmosphere with fun Valentine decorations, like red votive candles, heart themed runners, placemats and napkins or a glass canister filled with red candies or sweetheart candies for the kids. You can purchase any of these goods and store them away to use year after year. If you are feeling a bit whimsy, arrange your silverware to spell out the word LOVE on the dining room table. It is a nice and inexpensive way to surprise your family.
Mascarpone Blueberry Panettone
1 Panettone, cubed
8 oz Mascarpone, diced
1 cup blueberries
2 ½ cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
Even though Panettone is most abundantly found during the Christmas season, the popularity of this delicious bread has increased to the point that you can find it in stores often through Easter. For those who haven’t enjoyed Panettone since ‘Little Christmas,’ head to a specialty store and enjoy some for Valentine’s Day Brunch. Coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half of the cubed panettone in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the Mascarpone evenly and top with the blueberries. Top with the remaining panettone.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the heavy cream, butter and maple syrup. Pour over the panettone. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to ensure that all of the Panettone pieces are soaked. Preheat oven to 325°F and bake for 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Mini Pizza with Egg Drop
1 lb dough (makes 4 mini pizzas)
1 ½ cups tomato sauce
2 cups diced pancetta
4 handfuls fresh arugula
2 cups shredded mozzarella
flour, for dusting
Before you begin, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Preheat oven to 450°F. Rub olive oil on baking sheet and dust with flour.
For the heart, take your time and shape it by hand or you can purchase a heart mold. Remember, they are mini pizzas, but make sure you have enough room for the egg white to travel once placed on top. After making the heart shape, pre-cook dough for 5 minutes to set the shape.
Crack eggs into a small bowl, one at a time, before it goes on the pizza. Be sure to use a small bowl so when you pour the egg on the pizza it stays intact. Then add the toppings on the dough (1/4 of each topping for each pizza). Bake until dough is crispy and eggs are cooked through.
Strawberry Love Muffins
unsalted butter for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 12 standard muffin cups or use paper liners with red hearts on them! In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. With an electric mixer, combine the eggs and milk and beat on low speed just until blended. Add the oil, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract and beat just until blended. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until moistened. Do not overmix. Fold in the strawberries with a rubber spatula.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes if using fresh strawberries or 25 to 30 minutes if using frozen. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto the rack. Serve warm.
Baked Eggs with Bacon and Parmigiano
4 slices of bacon, cut in small pieces and fried on a pan
4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
diced chives, for garnish
pinch of salt and pepper
Heat oven to 425°F. Separate whites from yolks. Place whites in a bowl and whip until fluffy. Place yolks in two separate cups on the side. Add cheese and bacon to beaten egg whites, mix it and place two equal portions on a baking paper. Bake for 3 minutes and then place yolk on each of them and bake for another 3 minutes. When ready, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chives and serve over a slice of Italian panelle toast.
Ricotta Pancakes with Orange Syrup
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ½ cups fresh ricotta
1 ½ tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
½ cup fresh ricotta
Vegetable oil, for frying
Peel the zest from the orange in long strips and julienne. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the zest for 30 seconds. Drain and repeat. In the saucepan, simmer the orange juice, sugar, water and blanched zest until syrupy, about 10 minutes. Let cool. In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the ricotta topping.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In another large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg yolks and ricotta. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. In a large, clean stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold them into the batter.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat a thin film of vegetable oil. Drop in 1/4-cup dollops of batter and cook over moderately high heat, 2 minutes per side, until golden and fluffy. Serve with the orange syrup and ricotta topping.
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata
12 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
6 large eggs
2 tbsp Mascarpone
1 tbsp olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
A dash salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place ½ inch of water and asparagus in a large skillet; bring to a boil. Cook, covered until asparagus is crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes; drain. Cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, mascarpone, salt and pepper. Chop two asparagus spears. In an 8 inch cast-iron skillet, heat oil over a medium flame until hot. Sauté the green onions, garlic and chopped asparagus for 1 minute. Stir in egg mixture and cook covered, over a medium flame until eggs are nearly set, 3-5 minutes. Top with whole asparagus spears and cheese. Bake until eggs are completely set, 7-9 minutes.