Recipes: Add a touch of luxury to brunch

Lobster, crab, asparagus and hollandaise feature in these indulgent brunch recipes, one of which would suit a big gathering, and another you might not want to share


Brunch has to be one of my favourite meals. Richer than a steadfast breakfast and more glamorous than lunch – except a Friday lunch if you’ve bunked off work – the range of foods that you find on brunch menus always sounds so enticing, usually laden with eggs, butter and crisp things. Perfect if you are ravenous and slightly the worse for wear.

Even the word brunch hints at deliciousness. And both of these recipes are completely delicious. That may sound a tad full-of-myself, but it’s not me. It’s them. These recipes are tasty as hell and good fun to make.

The omelette was absolutely divine and if served with a glass of bubbly would be heaven, even if it all sounds a bit Celtic Tigerish. Part of the methodology was a first for me. I never make hollandaise in my food processor and have always done it the old fashioned way. Feeling a bit cavalier – and possibly because I was a little ahead of schedule – I decided to give the hot-butter-in-food-processor trick a go. It was beyond easy – laughably so. I have no idea why I haven’t done this before.

To complete the flavour bomb, a whisper of tarragon partners well with both the lobster and the eggs. And if you want to believe that the addition of those sweet cherry tomatoes balances out all those calories, then who am I to argue?

The second recipe is even smarter, and really great for a small crowd. It was inspired by Darina Allen’s recent book celebrating 30 years at Ballymaloe. This is truly luxurious – asparagus and spicy crabmeat laid on top of crunch, smoky, chargrilled sourdough. I reduced the amount of mayo and replaced it with horseradish cream and added some anchovy essence. But this is one of those mixes that you can create to suit your own taste: lots more chilli, coriander and even some more lime would work well. It looks pretty and tastes sublime. Excellent as part of, say, a selection of goodies people can choose from at their leisure.

And there’s another great feature of brunch which everyone can agree on. It starts early enough – usually earlier than lunch might – but not so early that you’re harassed and fussed from the minute you wake up. And having brunch means you’re not still looking after guests till the wee hours of the morning. Most guests head home by late afternoon, and if there are stragglers that get a little too comfy on the couch, you can whoosh them on their way by reading the papers or flicking through a magazine in a desultory manner. Who, me?

Food cooked and styled by Domini Kemp and Gillian Fallon

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