While the rest of the country sweats through a heat wave, it’s staying relatively foggy and cool in San Francisco and the Bay Area, at least for the moment. So instead of chasing reservations, why not chill this weekend, and set out an easy brunch spread in the backyard? Some of the sunniest produce of the year is popping off right now, inspiring local bakers to fill quiches with sweet peppers and corn, and array croissants with heirloom peaches and crumbles. Plus, fresh fruit, thick-cut bacon, and smooth cold brew could round out a seasonal and creative menu. Here’s what to order this weekend, with a few tips and tricks slipped in for serving in kicked-back style.
Jimmy Nardello & Sweet Corn Quiche from Pie Society
Award-winning pastry chef Angela Pinkerton doesn’t just make wildly popular pies — you know she’s got a killer quiche, right? She switches it up with the seasons, so right now that flaky and buttery crust is filled up to the ruffles with smoky bacon and Cheddar and sweet peppers and corn. Yeah, as in the Jimmy Nardello frying peppers, which produce fans snap up this time of year. All you have to do is slide that quiche into a low oven to warm through.
Stone Fruit French Toast from Saltwater Bakeshop
Brittany Dunn is the former Holmie who now brings naturally stunning croissants to the farmers’ market. Which means that she has farmer friends with peak produce for piling on top of excellent croissants. At the moment, her seasonal “French toast” features a slab of croissant, swipe of cream cheese, shower of crumbles, and an array of thinly sliced stone fruit, including peaches, plums, and apricots. With croissants this pretty, simply set out a platter and serve.
Heirloom Peaches from Frog Hollow Farm
Pastel doesn’t usually offer fresh produce, but by popular demand, we made the exception for the storied peaches from Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood. A flat makes a fresh counterpoint to decadent quiche and croissants. Simply pop out the pits, slice up the peaches, and toss them into a bowl. If you like, you could drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and scatter with torn mint leaves and toasted almonds (which the farm grows, too).
Old-School Bacon from Fatted Calf
What is brunch without bacon? Or salty meat of some kind. And the finest comes from the wine country. Charcuterie pros Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller like their bacon old school, which means dry cured, thick cut, rubbed down with brown sugar and spices, and smoked over a blend of apple, cherry, mesquite, and alder wood. Slide it into a skillet on the stove, or if you’ve got a crowd, lay it on a sheet tray and add it to the oven.
Simple Espresso Cold Brew from Hedge Coffee
The Hedge crew originally rolled gleaming coffee carts into events, but now their house-roasted beans also love to hang at home. Their simple espresso blends beans from Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Brazil, and tastes of caramel, berries, and milk chocolate. They say it works well with any brew method, so as long as it’s summer, you could keep it easy and cold brew in advance. Just coarsely grind the beans, steep in water overnight, and strain in the morning — so you can yawn and stretch slowly and chill.
Hungry for more? There are so many more cool brunch items on the site. Plus a few more fresh ideas: