Thank Goodness for Jewish Brunch | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Thank Goodness for Jewish Brunch

Thank Goodness for Jewish Brunch

Baked Salmon Salad, Ronnie Fein

Tips for achieving brunch perfection

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Thank goodness for Jewish Brunch.

Yes, it’s a thing. And the food at such a thing would probably please anyone and everyone, still, it’s all about the familiar stuff American-Ashkenazi Jews have grown up eating: smoked fish, salads, plus a few side dishes like pickled beets and some ubiquitous Israeli favorites.

I say thank goodness because Jewish Brunch is a splendid way to entertain if you are short on time (who isn’t?). You can prepare all the food in advance, and, of course, since so much of what you might serve is so widely available, you can make some and/or buy some, as time and your wallet dictate.

The big deal about this (or any) brunch is your choice of dishes. Variety is key, but it also has to make sense as a whole rather than be a hodgepodge of this and that. So, for example, for a room-temp salad brunch there’s no need to add hot shakshuka or challah French Toast. In addition, it’s not a good idea to serve dishes that are too similar -- pick one: whitefish salad, tuna salad, or chopped herring salad.

Another point to consider is this -- give your table some eye-appeal by offering dishes with contrasting colors and textures: peach-colored baked salmon salad; tomato-flecked eggplant salad (raheb); bright orange gravlax; yellow egg salad; white labne sprinkled with za’atar. Smooth hummus and chunky roasted beet salad. Like that.

Don’t forget bread. Scones and biscuits may be typical brunch must-haves, but for Jewish Brunch, go with bagels, pita/bagel crisps, and sliced pumpernickel.

As for dessert, well, what about chocolate cake and dainty fruit-topped pastries? Nah. This occasion is all about babka, black & white cookies, and rugelach.

Baked Salmon Salad

Raheb Eggplant Salad

Egg Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Mercurial Victory CR7 Low

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