We'll never stop loving eggs benedict and banana pancakes, but when it comes to brunching in the summer, we sometimes crave something a little more international—something to make us feel like we're sitting seaside in Sicily or noshing on Spanish tapas in San Sebastian. Though Europeans typically don't "brunch" as much as Americans do, they have perfected the art of the light summer lunch, making recipes that are as easy as they are delicious and morning-appropriate.
To take our brunch endeavors to the next level, we asked two NYC-based chefs, Giorgia Zedda and Marc Vidal, to share their favorite weekend brunch recipe ideas. Get ready for carb-loaded, fresh, flavorful goodness. These European-inspired brunch recipes are as good as they are simple.
Meet the Expert
Read on for four European-inspired brunch recipes.
Pan con Tomate
Servings: As many as you like
Crusty country bread sliced 1⁄2-inch thick
Kosher salt extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 heirloom tomato, ripe
Preheat the broiler and position a rack six inches below the heating element.
Lightly sprinkle both sides of the bread with salt and drizzle with the oil. Toast the bread on one side until browned and then flip and toast the other side just until crisp. Watch it carefully; broilers vary greatly in strength, and some can burn bread fast.
Gently rub garlic over the toast. Cut a ripe tomato in half, seed it if it’s watery, and rub the cut sides into the bread, getting the pulp well into any nooks of the toast. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cut into pieces if you like and serve immediately.
Melón Con Jamón
1 ripe cantaloupe (about 14 ounces) cut in 8 wedges and seeded
2 oz. very thinly sliced Jamón Ibérico
1 cup packed torn frisée
2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, torn
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, torn
Extra-virgin olive oil: a generous drizzle
Fleur de sel
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the rind off the melon wedges, then slice each wedge lengthwise in half. Arrange four slices on each of the serving plates and drape the jamón all over the melon.
Remove the zest from the half lemon and reserve it; then squeeze out the juice. Toss the frisée, mint, and basil with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Mound this on top of the jamón and melon. Drizzle with plenty of oil, grind lots of pepper on top, and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Sprinkle the reserved lemon zest on top. Serve immediately.
Never put a melon in the fridge. Its sweetness and complexity diminish in the cold. If you bought it ripe, use it right away. Otherwise, let it sit at room temperature until you can smell its honeyed scent.
Servings: 1 to 2
3 sheets Sardinian flatbread (pane carasau)
1/2 cup aged pecorino cheese
2 cups of Mutton stock (brodo di pecora—can substitute beef or vegetable broth)
2 cups tomato sauce
Separately, heat both the broth and tomato sauce on the stove, just to a low simmer.
Set the first sheet of pane carasau on a plate, pour 1/2 cup of the broth over it and soak the bread for one minute then pour the tomato sauce over it and spread it out. Add grated pecorino cheese.
Take the second sheet of bread and soak it for a minute in the broth. Put it on the first sheet and add tomato sauce and pecorino cheese, do the same with the third sheet of pane carasau.
Break two eggs in hot water and carefully, using a small spoon, fold the white over the egg yolk, and simmer for simmer minutes. Using a spoon transfer the poached egg onto the bread and tomato sauce.
Pour extra virgin olive oil onto the bread and eggs, and serve warm.
Avocado and Watermelon Radish Toast
Servings: 1 to 2
Two 3/4" slices of seven-grain bread
1 watermelon radish
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Toast a slice of seven-grain bread.
Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and put it in a bowl. Mash it up with a fork, add extra virgin olive oil, and salt and black pepper to taste.
Spread the avocado on the seven-grain toast.
Shave the watermelon radish with a mandolin, or very carefully with a sharp knife, and add it on top of the avo toast. Add a pinch of salt.