We don’t have to tell you that seafood shines on special occasions. Want to wow on a dinner date? Sprinkle salmon roe over pasta with the confidence of someone who eats it every day. On vacation with the in-laws? These pickled crab crostinis will impress the entire family. And when the holidays roll around, Spicy Salmon-Avocado Hand Rolls are a fun alternative to potlucks or cookie parties.
But what about breakfast parties? We’re here to dispel the notion that fish is too heavy or complicated first thing in the morning. With the right preparation, seafood makes wonderful brunch fare—and not just as smoked salmon, love it though we do. Most of these dishes are just as easy as typical brunch food, and just as dazzling (if not more!).
Photo by Rachael Martin.
These easy breakfast tacos come together in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee and are great for last-minute out-of-town guests. If you’re looking to up the ante, buy fresh tortillas from your local Mexican grocery store. Whatever tortillas you use, the easiest way to dress up this dish is to experiment with toppings. Try drizzling them with lime crema, and set out bowls of shaved radishes, pico de gallo, cubed avocado, pickled jalapeños, and queso fresco for a morning taco party.
Pair with: An ice-cold pitcher of micheladas, aka a spicy Bloody Mary made with beer.
Photo by Grace Parisi
If you are looking to impress, gravlax is your best bet. Already one of nature’s most beautiful foods, our Beet-Cured Gravlax takes on a gorgeous, deep-purple color as it cures in salt and puréed beets for 24 hours. We drape long, luscious ribbons of smoked fish over nutty, crunchy Scandinavian seed crackers and serve them garnished with sour cream, capers, and fresh dill. Though it takes a little preplanning, it’s the perfect holiday fare for a crowd.
Pair with: Something sparkly and slightly acidic, like cava, prosecco, or vinho verde. Serve in tall, glamorous champagne flutes—this is a party!
This irresistible quiche would work equally well at a bridal shower or a graduation brunch. We use flaky, tender smoked salmon instead of bacon, and plenty of buttery leeks and nutty gruyere cheese, for a truly decadent addition to the brunch table. We highly recommend resisting the temptation to use store-bought pie crust. Making your own dough is easier than you think, and you’ll be rewarded with superior taste, texture, and flavor. Do it once and we promise you’ll never go back.
Pair with: A classic brunch cocktail, such as a bubbly mimosa, is perfect for offsetting the richness of this quiche. Mix 3 oz freshly squeezed orange juice into ½ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur, then add 4 oz excellent quality champagne (we love Veuve Clicquot). Endless flavor variations are possible here.
Photo by Grace Parisi.
Like our beet-cured version, this gravlax recipe uses sugar and salt—as well as a variety of herbs and spirits—to cure salmon over several days. We serve it on rich pumpernickel toasts with tangy chive-spiked cream cheese and a briny caper relish, which complements the sweetness of the fish. Whip this one up for your annual holiday cocktail party and watch the smiles on everyone’s faces as they dig in!.
Pair with: An aquavit cocktail, such as St. Knut’s Day, made from aquavit, honey, lemon juice, bitters, and prosecco. If you’re looking for something simpler, try an Aperol spritz or a French 75.
Photo by Grace Parisi.
Let’s be honest: parenthood is mayhem. Come Mother’s Day, whip out your cast-iron skillet and toss together this easy breakfast hash in mere minutes. Voila! You have a perfect, low-key celebration. Crispy potatoes, soft runny eggs, and buttery toast will mend a frazzled soul in no time at all.
Pair with: If your kids behave, treat them to a virgin mimosa. If they don’t (and maybe even if they do), treat yourself to a Bloody Mary.