As we get close to Easter and spring entertaining, Kate and I have been thinking a lot about beautiful and creative ways to use plants at your brunch table. Houseplants are of course a gorgeous way to style your home, but that doesn’t mean that they have to just sit still. Your house plants can, and should, also bring additional energy and design to unexpected places or seasonal moments.
We worked with our dear friend Colette at Cultured ATX to design an ethereal and functional Easter Brunch table with a few unique ideas to bring some extra joy to your celebrations this week. Colette has built an incredible business in Austin, designing grazing displays for businesses, parties, and individuals. She also styles food, working with top chefs and photographers to build awe worthy displays.
To create a limited waste, but beautiful display, we started by looking through our favorite plants, and decided to make Kate’s ‘Brasil’ philodendron our centerpiece. A full, trailing plant is an excellent option for a centerpiece, as its vines can be draped about the table like a garland, while also maintaining a lower profile, letting guests see each other clearly across the table. Other trailing plants such as a pothos, inchplant, or ivy can also be used. Ahead of using your plant for a centerpiece, be sure to water your plant a day or two before, draining any standing water, and trim any dead or particularly unattractive pieces.
Placing the philodendron was step one of building our table- we fanned out the vines lengthwise down the table to create the illusion of a garland, then took remaining extra vines, and carefully wrapped them on top of the plant, covering exposed dirt, roots, and blank spaces at the base of the plant- creating a very full and lush, leafy pot.
Of course, a small favor or gift is a great addition to any tablescape and guest - so, we also found a few beautiful young Velvet Leaf Philodendrons, which we potted individually in 2 in. terracotta pots and added them to the setting of each guest. We love this favor as a way to share your plant favorites with friends and family – you could even use cuttings of your favorite plant as a potential gift! If you are interested in creating place cards for a seated meal, adding handwritten cards to the individual pots with small stakes or calligraphy on the pot also adds additional personality and functionality! We love the color and texture that these Velvet Leaf Philodendrons brought to the table, filling up some central space with purpose.
With our simple white dinner plates, textured white salad plates, and colorful glasses, we placed our tablesettings to create some more structure on the table, then we began to work on integrating Colette’s gorgeous food arrangements onto the table as well.
Using shared plates, Colette prepared a fun, fresh, and hearty meal. Our table had a gorgeous cheese board with Amish Blue Cheese, a Flourish Favorite, topped with honeycomb, and manchego with berries and pomegranate. Colette loves a whipped butter dish, especially for grazing meals, and whipped Kerry Gold butter topped with lightly sauteed, salted radishes. A homemade hummus, topped with whole roasted fingerling potatoes and microgreens added another dip to the setting.
We brought colors to the table with a shared veggie plate with spring veggies, including full carrots, blanched asparagus, caulilini (baby caulifower), and thickly sliced cucumbers, accompanied by a fresh, no-waste pesto, made with radish tops.
5 minute "Save your Scraps" Pesto recipe
- Tops of one bunch Radish tops (you can also use any green kitchen scraps such as carrot tops, beet tops, leftover spinach or arugula, or peas)
- 2 cups Basil
- 1/4 cup Olive oil plus more as needed
- 1/2 cup Walnuts
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper
Instructions: Start by adding your greens and olive oil to a food processor and blend. Add in the rest of your ingredients and blend until desired texture.
Colette also made a spring salad with fennel, grapefruit, thinly sliced cucumbers, watermelon radishes, fresh dill sprigs and prosciutto, topped with our favorite, Graza Drizzle Olive Oil. This salad is a great compliment to the fresh spring meal, and makes a great addition for sophisticated palates who love a bitter salad.
To add a spring flair, with a hint of Easter, Colette prepared natural deviled eggs with edible flowers. These were a great small bite, and sat beautifully on top of each salad plate, welcoming guests and balancing the simple table setting. Colette also adorned other dishes with edible flowers, bringing additional color across the dishes, and creating a cohesive design element, even though different style serving platters were used across the table.
As we finished up the table with a few bottles of our favorite wine (Substitute with sparkling water and juices in pretty pitchers). We also wanted to balance the heady green in the middle of the table, and placed a few sliced lemons around the centerpiece philodendron. Adding a few tall candles would create a romantic and elegant upgrade for an evening meal.
We enjoyed the whole table with a fresh ciabatta, creating toasties of each different platter. A roasted chicken or additional protein could round out a full dinner as well.
Colette also shared with us her top tips for making a beautiful boards:
- Consider your colors! Choose a color palette and find items that compliment your theme.
- Create pairing piles, placing your favorite cheese pairings next to their accompanying cheese. Some of my favorites are dried apricots with Gorgonzola, raspberries with Brie, and honey & walnut with aged White Cheddar.
- Texture is key. Choose a variety of cheese milks and textures- fresh cheese, semi-soft, hard and blue is a good starting selection. Also, how you cut and style each cheese and fresh fruits creates more texture. Ex. strawberries can be cut lengthwise or in small slices width-wise.
- Purchasing from local vendors will allow your cheese board to really shine and be bold with fresh, seasonal flavors.
- Rule of thumb for planning a board is 2oz of cheese per person and 3 oz of cured meats per person.
- Finally, be sure to allow your cheeses to come to room temperature before serving.
Check out Colette's beautiful work at @culturedatx on Instagram or at https://www.culturedatx.com/about !