We partnered with with the team at Ned Ludd, a Portland restaurant that feels like home, to bring our Open Kitchen collection to life this season. Its cozy, casual vibe pairs perfectly with its rustic menu, which highlights peak-season produce and handcrafted, locally sourced ingredients. Read our interviews with the owners, chefs and partners behind Ned Ludd and try their original recipes here.
“We love brunch,” says Ned Ludd chef and owner Jason French. For our latest catalog, he invited local artisans and their families in to cook and eat a casual community brunch, made up of comforting spring recipes he created. “It’s that time to gather around the table, so dishes should be really simple.”
Use Jason’s menu as inspiration to host your own brunch this weekend — these recipes and tips will show you how.
The ideal brunch menu has a mix of sweet and savory, and Jason’s dishes strike the perfect balance. Start off the meal with oven-roasted grapefruit topped with hazelnuts and sea salt — the dish adds a sophisticated touch.
For the main course, serve a spring vegetable frittata with goat cheese and a sprinkle of basil, along with brioche French toast, which is baked with a fragrant vanilla bean and whole cardamom pods for warmth. This hearty smoked trout and vegetable hash — with eggs baked right in the mix — makes an unexpected addition to the table.
On the side, pass a basket of moist apple muffins, spread with homemade apple butter.
- 1 to 2 weeks ahead: Make the apple butter and the marmalade (for the French toast) and refrigerate both separately.
- 1 day ahead: Combine the custard and brioche for the French toast and refrigerate overnight.
- Day of: Bake the muffins and cool. Toast the bread crumbs for the hash.
- Just before serving: Make the frittata and the hash. Finish the French toast. Roast the grapefruit.
Like most brunches, this menu is primarily made up of dishes you make and serve immediately. Do what you can ahead of time, but take the opportunity to get guests involved in the kitchen, and enjoy the process of cooking together. Casual, communal and leisurely: that’s what brunch is all about.
Don’t forget beverages! Serve Bloody Marys and freshly brewed coffee along with the meal. Here’s the ultimate Ned Ludd Bloody Mary.
When it’s time to sit down, place dishes down the center of the table right in their skillets, set on boards, trivets or towels. A fuss-free table makes the morning feel inviting and relaxed. Instead of flowers, place fresh herbs in glasses on the table for garnishing the food — they’re pretty and functional.