In an anthropomorphized world, Billy Buttons would be the wide-eyed boy with a dirty face, a dangling overall strap, a slingshot in his back pocket and tussled hair. His very traditional and formal mother would insist on calling him by his given name, Craspedia, but all the other children would chant and cheer, “Billy, Billy Buttons is here!”
In reality, Billy Buttons are these silly, globular flowers, like lollipops or sugary gumdrops on sticks. When I saw these deep violet and chartreuse preserved billy buttons (available here), visions of a purple and green brunch filled my head. When your grocery list is “purple” and “green,” the grocery store becomes a totally different shopping experience and a challenging assignment for guests who ask what to bring.
This purple and green inspired frittata took center stage with slices of heirloom rainbow carrots, asparagus spears and new-to-me purplish kale sprouts (when a kale and a brussels sprout love each other very much…). Always keep a frittata in your proverbial back pocket as a brunch host. A frittata serves a full table of friends, it’s a blank canvas for colorful and seasonal ingredients, and it’s a comforting crowd pleaser.
My green and purple shopping list led me to Trader Joe’s Pesto Gouda, and my old time favorite- blueberry chèvre. Pesto Gouda is a worth buying even when you’re not on a strict color mission.
We toasted blackberry juice mimosas with fresh kiwi and blueberry garnishes.
It wouldn’t be a With The Grains brunch without a little something for the sweet tooth. This gluten-free, frozen dessert was a nod to the emergence of spring and warmer temperatures, topped with homemade whipped cream and juicy blackberries, blueberries and fresh mint. With the lavender crust and frozen fruit layer, the dessert is light, floral and the perfect touch for a spring brunch.
Behind every styled table and fork clanking on a plate, is this pair of pumpkin seeds waiting hopefully for fallen morsels of brunch…
As the colors disappeared from the table, we switched to a completely different palette: neons! This brunch took place on Easter morning and transitioned to an Easter Egg Hunt! “Were there kids there?” asked the Urban Farmer’s mom. Nope, just a bunch of adults, hunting for bright, plastic eggs on a farm. More on that to come!
Stay tuned for our Easter Egg Hunt adventures and the recipe for the Purple & Green themed frozen berry dessert!
Here’s to Colorful Menus!
p.s: If you like my fern centerpieces, check out this DIY I did for Roxanne’s Dried Flowers.
Carrot, Kale Sprout & Asparagus Frittata
About This Recipe: The vegetable component of this frittata recipe is really flexible. The portions I list below are a loose guide, as I was very fluidly creating this version while setting a table, brewing coffee and whipping cream for brunch. Roast, sauté and combine according to your cravings and what’s in season. The main ratios to mind are the egg mixture proportions. I found the Kale Sprouts at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find them, you could easily substitute kale or brussels sprouts (cut in halves).
Carrot, Kale Sprout & Asparagus Frittata
2 Tablespoons Irish cream butter (Kerrygold), divided
2-3 purple carrots (from an organic mix of heirloom rainbow carrots), sliced
4-6 organic asparagus spears (stalky ends chopped off), cut in half
~20 kale sprouts
12 large eggs (organic/cage-free)
1/2 cup organic sour cream
herbs de provence, to taste
freshly ground red peppercorns (or black pepper)
Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 350°F.
Heat 1 Tablespoon butter in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, asparagus and kale sprouts, and cook, stirring often, until softened slightly but still crisp.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs and sour cream. Season with herbs, salt and pepper.
Grease a 10-inch, glass pie pan with the remaining butter. Pour in the egg mixture.
Add the vegetables. Have fun with the arrangement, arraying the asparagus like an asterix and dispersing the carrots to show off their purple color.
Transfer pie pan to oven. Bake frittata until golden brown and center is set, 25-30 minutes.