Instead of the usual dinner, why not invite friends over for a stylish brunch? They’ll love these favourites.
Prep 10 mins / Cook 15 mins / Serves 4
Brioche Bruschetta With Avocado and Poached Eggs
400 g of 8 x 2 cm-thick slices brioche, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 x 500 g ripe avocados
2 tbsps lemon juice, 8 fresh free-range juice, ¼ cup dukkah (store-bought or see recipe)
¼ cup tomato relish, Lemon wedges, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 120 C. Heat a char-grilled pan over high heat. Fill a large frying pan 5 cm deep with salted water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
2. Brush the brioche slices on both sides with oil. When the char-grill is hot, cook brioche until dark golden char-marks score the bread – take care as brioche burns easily. Turn and repeat on the second side. Transfer to a tray: Place in the oven to keep warm. Place 4 serving plates in the oven to warm.
3. Cut avocados in half; place halves on a board. Remove the seeds by lodging the knife in them and giving a gentle twist. While the avocado is still in its halfshell, run a knife lengthways through the flesh down to the skin into slices. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh which will be neatly sliced. Pour the lemon juice over the avocado to prevent it from turning brown.
4. To poach the eggs, crack each egg gently, close to the surface of the simmering water. Don’t worry if some of the whites float away. If the eggs are fresh there will be a lovely orb of white around the yolk. After 2 to 3 mins, lift the first egg from the water with a slotted spoon and check that the white is cooked through. Rest the spoon briefly on a paper towel.
5. Meanwhile, place brioche slices on warmed plates. Layer the sliced avocado over the bread. Place the eggs on the brioche and avocado. Drizzle the eggs with a little extra oil if you like. Sprinkle with dukkah and top with tomato relish.
6. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Use good quality, fresh extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. When poaching, fresh eggs are critical.
Prep 5 mins / Cook 10 mins / Makes about ¾ cup
1/3 cup almond kernels (natural almonds) • 1/3 cup sesame seeds • 2 tbsps coriander seeds
• 2 tbsps cumin seeds • 12 whole white peppercorns • ½ tsp sea salt flakes • ¼ tsp ground hot chilli, optional
1. Place almonds in the bowl of a small food processor and process until mostly about the size of sesame seeds. There will be some bigger pieces and some powder – this is okay.
2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat; add the almonds and stir until golden and aromatic. Remove to a bowl. Place the sesame seeds in the hot pan and cook, stirring, until golden. Transfer to the bowl.
3. Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns into the pan and stir until aromatic and starting to colour. Place into the bowl of the processor or a mortar and pestle with the sea salt and process or grind to a coarse powder. Place in the bowl with the almonds and sesame seeds, then add the chilli. Mix well and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.
Serve any leftover Salsa Verde with grilled meat or seafood.
Prep 10 mins / Makes about ½ cup
½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
• ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves • 1 clove garlic, peeled • 1 tbsp drained capers
• 2 tsps finely grated lemon rind • 2 tbsps lemon juice • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Place all the ingredients, except the oil and mustard, into the bowl or a food processor. Blitz while pouring oil in a thin stream; add mustard, process until combined. Transfer to a bowl; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Big Green Brunch Plate
Prep 10 mins / Cook 10 mins / Serves 4
1 medium lemon, 4 free-range eggs, at room temperature, ½ cup instant couscous, 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
200 g sugar snap peas, trimmed, 50 g baby spinach leaves, 4 green onions (green shallots), sliced thinly
2 tbsps fresh basil leaves, 2 tbsps fresh mint leaves, 2 tbsps fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup Salsa Verde (see recipe), ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted, chopped coarsely
1. Remove rind from lemon with a zester (or peel lemon thinly, avoiding white pith. Cut rind into long thin stripes). Squeeze juice from lemon; you will need 2 tbsps.
2. Add eggs to a small saucepan of almostsimmering water; bring to a simmer. Simmer for 7 mins; drain. Rinse eggs under cold water until cool enough to handle; peel eggs.
3. Meanwhile, place couscous in a Serve any leftover Salsa Verde with grilled meat or seafood. medium heatproof bowl. Add ½ cup boiling water; cover bowl, stand 5 mins.
4. Add asparagus, sugar snaps and beans to a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 1-2 mins or until just tender; drain. Halve sugar snaps lengthways.
5. Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in a spinach, onion, herbs and juice. Season to taste with salt. Place couscous mixture on large serving platter; top with vegetables, halved eggs and rind.
6. Spoon half the Salsa Verde over the vegetables and scatter with pistachios.
Wrap muffins in single serves and freeze in a sealed container for up to three months.
Pea, Zucchini & Feta Muffins
Prep 20 mins / Cook 25 mins / Makes 18
250 g firm feta cheese, cut into 1-cm pieces, 2 cups self-raising flour, 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
2 large or 3 small zucchinis, grated coarsely, 1 large brown onion, grated or chopped finely
1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 cup grated tasty cheese, 3 eggs, ¾ cup milk, 60 g butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Oil 18 holes of two ( /3 cup or 80 ml capacity) muffin 1 pans with cooking spray (or line with paper muffin cases, if you wish).
2. Reserve 18 pieces of feta. Place flour into a large bowl and stir in the peas, zucchini, onion, thyme, tasty cheese and remaining feta; mix well.
3. Whisk eggs and milk in a jug; stir in the cooled melted butter. Pour into the flour mixture and stir gently until just incorporated. Divide evenly between muffin pans; top each muffin with a cube of the reserved feta.
4. Bake muffins for about 20-25 mins or until golden brown and cooked through. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Cool muffins in the pan before turning onto a wire rack.
Prep & Cook 1 hour 25 mins (plus refrigeration time) / Serves 10
1½ cups plain flour, 125 g cold butter, cut into cubes, 1 egg, 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, 50 g baby spinach
400 g skinless, boneless salmon fillet, cut into 2-cm cubes, 6 green onions (green shallots), sliced thinly
2 tbsps coarsely chopped fresh dill, 10 eggs, extra, ½ cup cream, Fresh dill sprigs, extra, watercress and lemon quarters, to serve
1. Place the flour, ¼ tsp of salt and butter into a food processor; process until mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs and there are no lumps. With the motor running, add the egg and process until pastry just comes together in a ball. Turn pastry out onto a cold surface. Press a pastry into a disc about 3 cm thick; wrap dough in plastic. Refrigerate about 15 mins.
2. Grease a 28 cm loose-based flan tin. Place pastry between two sheets of non-stick baking paper. Roll gently with a rolling pin until large enough to line the tin. It needs to be done quite slowly so that it is being flattened, rather than stretched. Slide pastry in paper onto a large tray; refrigerate for 15 mins.
3. Ease pastry into flan tin; press into side and trim edge. Refrigerate for another 15 mins.
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 15 mins or until starting to turn golden. Remove paper and weights. Bake for a further 10 mins or until base is light golden.
5. Place half the mozzarella cheese in the base of the pastry. Spread baby spinach over top. Arrange salmon cubes evenly over spinach, then scatter with onion and half the dill.
6. Whisk the extra eggs in a large bowl with a fork until combined. Add cream and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into pastry case and top with remaining mozzarella. Bake for about 35 mins or until golden brown on top and just firm in the middle. Remove from oven; cool a little before serving.
7. Sprinkle quiche with extra dill; serve with lemon quarters and watercress, if desired.
Check out our yummy Apple Walnut Loaf recipe on our digital edition.