The perfect brunch

Martha's Vineyard Island Weddings The Perfect Brunch

Vineyard weddings are rarely just a one-day affair, and providing for everyone’s well-being often includes the day before and the morning after the main event – you can be responsible for where people might go, what they might do, and, of course, what they’ll eat.

Island caterers are indispensable for feeding the wedding crowd, but they can also be helpful in providing food for a more intimate brunch the next day. We asked a few to provide sample menus for brunches, from formal to casual, with service and self-serve. The caterers offer a wide variety of options, so the menus can be followed to the letter, or used just as inspiration to get you thinking.

Because so many brunches are more casual and at private homes, we’ve also included a simple do-it-yourself brunch that is easy to manage – with a little forethought. But whatever menu you choose, you can think of the after-wedding brunch as your final bon-voyage toast.

The Scottish Bakehouse
This take-out eatery on State Road in Vineyard Haven is popular whether for a quick muffin and coffee or a healthy lunch or dinner plate featuring Island-farmed produce. It’s a busy spot year-round for Islanders heading to or from work and visitors and residents alike coming home from the beach. The owner and chef, Daniele Dominick, and her staff also cater more elaborate affairs, including wedding brunches. Ask about your favorite seafood and vegetable combinations for quiches, as well as other sweet-tooth favorites.

Buffet brunch, self-serve
Starter station:
Fresh fruit salad
Mini scones in cranberry, blueberry, and orange
Mini muffins in blueberry, cinnamon-peach, and applesauce-flax
Main station:
Seafood quiche with shrimp and scallops
Vegetable quiche with spinach, asparagus, and broccoli
Overstuffed croissant sandwiches with curried chicken or egg salad
Fresh green salad
Dessert station:
Key-lime tarts
Lemon bars
Fudge brownies

Soigné
On upper Main Street in Edgartown is one of the Island’s finest food shops, offering an outstanding selection of cheeses, patés, creative soups, salads, and sandwiches. Chef Ron Cavallo also creates elegant desserts and savory baked goods. Soigné can provide on-site catering, as well as food-to-order for pick-up.

Anytime gourmet brunch, self-serve
Hors d’oeuvres:
Curried deviled eggs
Wild-mushroom tarts
Lobster cakes with remoulade sauce
Entrées:
To-die-for french toast (a Soigné favorite)
Zucchini pancakes with cr ème fraiche
Salmon hash
Honey-glazed ham with fresh-herbed biscuits
Seafood crepes (bay scallops, shrimp, crab) with lobster velute sauce
Desserts:
Grilled-fruit skewers
Assorted dessert breads: mango, banana, and cranberry-walnut
Savory cheesecake: sheep, cow, and goat’s milk cheeses with fresh herbs

Kitchen Porch
Jan Buhrman has been catering on the Vineyard for twenty years. Her business, Kitchen Porch catering, serves parties of all sizes and offers a wide assortment of menu options and wine tastings. Jan’s food features Island-grown produce and meats, organically raised when possible, and is always beautifully presented, whether at a formal sit-down or a drop-off brunch.

Champagne on the deck, formal with service
Hors d’oeuvres:
Passed, mini buckwheat pancakes with caviar, eggs, and chives
Oysters and littleneck clams with shallot vinaigrette and lemon
Shrimp cocktail
Entrées:
Smoked salmon with dill and cucumbers
Lobster salad
Haricots verts with raspberry vinegar
Ravioli salad with roasted red peppers and broccolini
Fruit salad
Dessert station:
Mini lemon tarts
Raspberry Linzer tarts
Chocolate truffles
Coffee and tea

Garden party at noon, self-serve
Whole spiral ham
Poppy-seed rolls with condiments and relish tray
Breakfast strata with spinach and Gruyère cheese
Home fries
Cranberry-nut bread
Corn bread
Fresh fruits
Gingerbread cookies
Fresh-squeezed orange juice

Make-it-yourself brunch for 10 (multiply as needed)

We’re pairing our do-it-yourself menu with sangria, as a festive and refreshing change from Mimosas and Bloody Marys – and we think it goes great with the fruit salad, and the shrimp and avocado quiche.
• Sangria
• Shrimp and avocado quiche
• Coffee cake
• Bagels with smoked salmon spread
• Fresh fruit salad
• Coffee, tea, and juice

STEP ONE: A day or two in advance, purchase ingredients – or send out one of your attendants. Don’t forget to put cream, sugar, and other condiments on your list. Recipes for the sangria and quiche are below. Use your favorite recipe for the coffee cake, or buy from an Island bakery. The ready-made smoked salmon spread and bagels can be purchased from a grocery store or specialty café.
STEP TWO: The day before, or the morning of the brunch, cut the fruit for the fruit salad (bite-size pieces of your favorites), and make the sangria and the quiche. (Note: Squeeze lemon or lime juice over the fruit salad to keep it fresh.)
STEP THREE: Set the table. The style is up to you: a festive sit-down affair or buffet-style on the kitchen counter or back-deck picnic table.

Recipes

QUICK AND EASY SHRIMP AND AVOCADO QUICHE
• ¾ pound frozen baby shrimp
• 4 cups milk or cream
• 6 eggs
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon white or black pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
• ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
• 2 avocados, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
• 2 pie shells (you can make your own or save time and buy them frozen)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Thaw the shrimp under cold running water for about one minute, then drain.
3. Scald the milk or cream slightly by bringing to a boil in a saucepan; then allow to cool until lukewarm.
4. Beat the eggs, and stir into the warm milk. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
5. Divide the shrimp, cheese, and avocado each into two portions and spread evenly over the bottom of the two pie shells. Pour half of the custard mixture into each shell.
6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top turns slightly brown. Serve warm.

SANGRIA
• ½ cup brandy
• 1 cup Cointreau
• 8 cups red wine (full bodied and fruity, not too dry)
• Fresh lemon juice from 3 lemons
• 3 oranges, thinly sliced
• 2 lemons, thinly sliced
• 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
• 2 cups sugar
1. Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl, with ice cubes. Adjust the sugar to taste.
2. Serve with both fruit and drink in glasses.

[Originally published in the 2009 issue of Martha's Vineyard Magazine's Island Weddings; reviewed for updates in 2012.]

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