Host a bucolic brunch with these recipes from entertaining guru Keith Robinson

Bring friends together at a morning fete with these recipes

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Keith Robinson brunch

Photograph by Raftermen

When I arrived at Hutcheson-Redwine Plantation around 11 in the morning, I was greeted by a magical scene. The 12-acre homestead was bursting with colorful floral abundance, the foxgloves in full swing. The circa-1841 farmhouse has been lovingly restored, brimming with antiques and curios and flanked by boxwoods, garden rooms, and an acre of vegetables. It’s just 30 or so minutes southwest of Atlanta, nestled in the rolling terrain of Chattahoochee Hills, but it feels worlds away.

Keith Robinson brunch
Guests gather in front of the antebellum farmhouse.

Photograph by Raftermen

Keith Robinson brunch
Keith and his husband, Scott, after toasts in one of the many garden rooms.

Photograph by Raftermen

Keith Robinson brunch
Axel, the miniature dachshund.

Photograph by Raftermen

Somewhere between the arbor of climbing roses and the tractor barn–turned–open-air living room, I found Keith Robinson waiting for me with a smile and a fresh watermelon spritzer. The event designer behind Gloriosa, Keith transformed the timeworn estate into an enchanting bucolic wonderland. He lives there with his husband, Scott Morris, and their dogs, Winnie the wirehaired vizsla and Axel, a miniature dachshund.

I have admired Keith since our paths first crossed many years ago at the wholesale florist Cut Flower Wholesale. (He’s very tall, so you couldn’t miss him in the floral walk-in refrigerator.)

Keith Robinson brunch
Guests Rebecca and Ross Williams, who started Many Fold Farm.

Photograph by Raftermen

Keith Robinson brunch
Keith Robinson seats his Chattahoochee Hills neighbor, Pamela Trued.

Photograph by Raftermen

Keith Robinson brunch
The host serves Rebecca Trued Lander a watermelon spritzer.

Photograph by Raftermen

For this small-but-sublime spring gathering of friends, Keith placed a large round table in the garden in front of the house, draped it in a simple rustic linen, and topped it with vintage china, mixed flatware, and an arrangement of garden roses and peonies. His signature brunch menu featured a bounty grown in the field behind his house.

THE MENU

Watermelon spritzer

Chilled melon soup with basil oil

Turkey sweet potato hash

Fresh English pea salad

Mascarpone tart with fresh strawberries

1Watermelon spritzer

Keith Robinson brunch

Serves 12
6 cups watermelon, cubed
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup mint simple syrup
1 bottle white Bordeaux or white Burgundy wine
½ bottle club soda
Fresh mint, lime slices for garnish

Puree watermelon in a blender; strain and reserve juice. Add water to get six cups liquid. In a pitcher, combine all ingredients, plus ice, and stir. Add fresh mint and slice of lime as garnish to each glass, and serve.

2Roast turkey sweet potato hash

Keith Robinson brunch

Serves 12

Turkey
1 3–5 pound uncooked turkey breast on the bone
1 ½ tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Juice of one lemon
1 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 375° F. Pat turkey breast dry, and add salt and herbs de Provence to both sides. Heat cast-iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan on high until smoking, add oil, and reduce heat to medium. Place turkey breast skin side down in the pan, sear until skin is lightly brown, turn breast, and brown other side. Place skin side down again, and add butter to pan to crisp the skin (about three minutes), turn and deglaze with the lemon juice and white wine. Place the pan into a 375° oven for about an hour to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the breast, until a meat thermometer reads 165°. Cool to room temperature, and reserve pan juices. The turkey can be made up to two days ahead.

Sweet Potato Hash
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
3 tablespoons dry sage
8 cups sweet potatoes, chunked
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
4 cups turkey stock and pan drippings, combined
8 cups roast turkey meat with skin, chunked
½ cup parsley, chopped fine
1 cup smoked bacon, cooked and rough chopped

In a large cast-iron skillet on medium high heat, sweat onion and celery in the olive oil, and add dry herbs. Add sweet potatoes and two cups of the stock and pan drippings. Add turkey meat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are done. (You want the hash to crisp up on the bottom, while turning the mixture and scraping the pan with every turn.) Salt and pepper to taste, add the fresh thyme and remaining two cups of stock, and cook out the liquid. Stir in fresh parsley and cooked bacon. For a bonus: Add a fried egg on top!

3Chilled melon soup with basil oil

Serves 8–10
2 ripe cantaloupe melons, peeled and chunked
Juice of two lemons
Juice of two limes
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons tupelo honey or wildflower honey
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup olive oil

Place melon, lemon juice, lime juice, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, puree in batches until smooth. Portion into bowls.

Roughly tear ½ cup of basil leaves; reserve the other half. Add torn leaves to olive oil and emulsify, then strain oil through a fine mesh sieve and reserve. Chiffonade the remaining ½ cup of basil by stacking the leaves, rolling into a log, and slicing very thin with a sharp knife. Lightly sweeten yogurt by stirring in honey.

To each soup portion, add a dollop of sweetened yogurt, dot with basil oil, and finish with a chiffonade of fresh basil.

4Fresh English pea salad

Serves 8–10

Salad
2 ½ cups fresh English peas, shelled and blanched
1 cup celery with leaves, diced fine
½ cup parsley, chopped
6–8 medium radishes, sliced very thin
4 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and still warm
1½ cups Irish cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup baby arugula

Dressing
½ cup Dukes mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
2 tablespoons very fine olive oil

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients until well blended, and toss. Just before serving, garnish with a ring of baby arugula.

5Mascarpone tart with fresh strawberries

Keith Robinson brunch

Serves 12

Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling
1 pound mascarpone cheese
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups fresh strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix together the flour and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, and add vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated; do not overmix. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Press the chilled dough into a false bottom 10-inch tart shell, and prick the bottom with a fork. Bake until lightly browned, around 40 minutes, then let cool completely in the pan.

Mix together all ingredients for the filling, and smooth into the cooled, unmolded tart shell. Top with fresh strawberries.

Recipes provided by Keith Robinson of Gloriosa Design.

This article appears in our Spring 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.