[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]
When French toast and omelets and sausages don’t sound very tempting, a gorgeous salad that offers a variety of interesting tastes, textures, and colors can be a good choice for brunch: not the kind of thing you’d often bother to make on a weekday, but not an immobilizing gut-bomb, either. Many of you can probably pull this kind of beautiful cold plate together from the odds and ends in your vegetable drawer, but for people like me who live and die by the recipe and the shopping list, Ad Hoc at Home offers an inspiring chapter on salads.
The first one I tried was this broccolini salad with burrata cheese. It was relatively fast and easy to prepare, lovely on the plate, and definitely a treat to eat. Served with good bread, it makes a fine light meal; it does just as well alongside a simple frittata.
Note: A quarter cup salt for the blanching water may sound crazy, but Keller actually recommends more—about a cup per gallon of water! I couldn’t go that far, but I have to admit that using water much more heavily salted than usual (about a quarter cup for a little under a gallon of water) yielded broccolini that was vibrantly green and delicious. It tasted somehow buttery even before it had been dressed. Use a mandoline to slice the mushrooms and onions unless your knife skills are out of this world.