Brunch is one of my favourite meals. Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, but something in between. Where it’s okay to over-indulge a little, and cocktails are acceptable before noon.
With Mother’s Day coming up I thought I’d share an easy collection of easy brunch recipes and ideas that help inspire you to whip something special up for all the moms out there.
Bacon & Cheese Pastry Puffs
Frozen puff pastry is one of those things that you should keep in your freezer just in case. If you’re wanting to keep these vegetarian then you can definitely omit the bacon and replace it with cooked mushrooms or just use more cheese. Double or even triple the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd. These keep well for about a day or two, stored in an airtight container and reheated for 5-10 minutes in a 180°C oven.
- 6 – 8 slices bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
- 1 cup cheese, grated
- 1 sheet ready-made puff pastry (defrosted in the fridge overnight)
- salt & black pepper
- egg wash
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray.
- Carefully roll out the pastry on a clean and lightly floured surface and cut into equal squares or rectangles with a knife.
- Place the pastry pieces on the baking tray and place a small handful of chopped cooked bacon in the center of each, then top with grated cheese.
- Season with salt & pepper, then fold each side of the pastry squares or rectangles towards the center and lightly brush with the egg wash.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden.
Rösti Eggs Benedict
While spending a couple of months working in a village cafe kitchen just outside London, I made a ridiculous amount of Eggs Benny. The first thing I used to make after arriving in the kitchen every morning at 6.30 was a big batch of hollandaise (in the kitchen Thermomix, of course), and then pre-poach about 24 eggs.
Pre-poaching eggs allowed me to make them ahead of service and then gently reheat when any orders came through which needed them. You can pre-poach eggs for about 2 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath, and then reheat in a gently simmering pot of water just before serving. I like my eggs jammy, which usually requires about 2 more minutes on the stove, otherwise longer if you like firmer eggs. You can also store pre-poached eggs in water and in the fridge overnight to use the next day.
We served a few variations of Eggs Benedict, but they were all on toasted English muffins, topped with poached eggs, and covered in hollandaise. As much as I love toasted English muffins, crispy potato röstis are my go-to when it comes to Eggs Benedict – and a great GF option to boot (if that’s your thing).
- 3 waxy potatoes, peeled and halved
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- sea salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- poached, boiled, or fried eggs, to serve
- hollandaise sauce, to serve (I make this in my Thermomix TM6)
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil. Add the potato and cook for 10 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and allow to cool for 10 minutes, until you’re able to hold then without burning your hands.
- Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat.
- Grate the potatoes on to a chopping board or large plate, then season with garlic powder, salt & black pepper.
- Divide the mixture into equally sized balls, then place in the frying pan and gently squish with the back of a spatula to flatten.
- Fry on each side until golden brown, then serve.
Mishmash Hash & Eggs
This is one of those dishes that makes brilliant use of leftovers without being a very fussy thing to make. You can top it with fried, boiled or poached eggs if desired. There are no quantities listed below because of what a mishmash recipe this is, but you can throw together whatever you’ve got available and make it as small or as big a portion as needed.
- leftover veg (potato, brussel sprouts, onion, cabbage, sweet potato, mash, etc.)
- leftover roast meat (optional)
- sunflower oil
- salt & black pepper
- herbs, to garnish (optional)
- In a large frying pan on medium-high heat, add a small knob of butter and a splash of sunflower oil.
- Roughly chop the vegetables and meat (if using) and add to the pan once it has heated up and the butter has melted.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook for around 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t catch, but also allowing some of the bits to get crispy – you want a good mix of caramelized veg and meat.
- While your hash is cooking, fry, boil or poach your eggs if you’re including them.
- Whack the hash onto a plate or in a bowl, top with the egg, season with salt and black pepper, and garnish with herbs for a little greenery.
Cheese & Herb Scramble on Toast
Leftover herbs are the bane of my existence because I absolutely hate throwing them away when they’re past the point of no return but always seem to end up with a ton of them in the fridge drawer. The same can also be said for cream when I’ve used it for baking or dessert-making. This is a great way of using both up in the same dish. If you don’t have cream, then milk will suffice.
A healthier brunch option that’s also vegetarian.
- 1-2 cups leftover greens (parsley, basil, rocket, spinach)
- 2 tsp pesto (optional)
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk or cream
- 1 tsp butter
- 1/2 cup cheese, grated
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced + extra
- toast to serve
- Everything Bagel Seed Mix
- Salt & black pepper
- Place the herbs, pesto (if using), eggs, and milk or cream in a blender and blitz for around 2 minutes.
- Heat the butter in a large frying pan on medium-high heat, add the herby egg mixture, and scramble as you would regular scrambled eggs.
- When the eggs are done to your liking, remove them from the heat and fold them in the cheese and spring onions.
- Place spoonfuls over hot buttered toast, sprinkle with Everything Bagel Seed Mix, extra spring onions, and season with salt and black pepper.
Brown Sugar Pavlova Parfaits
If there’s one thing creating this ebook has taught me, it’s that I cannot make a pavlova. For years I have tried and failed, time and time again. As I like to think of myself as an expert at salvaging flops and transforming them into something else, I was happy to take up the challenge when it came to this one. So here we have it, Pavlova Parfaits – an ideal brunch treat!
- 450ml egg whites (about 12 eggs) at room temp
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ tsp white vinegar
- 2 cups cream, whipped
- 1/2 cup granadilla curd (see Basics)
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 cup mango, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup nectarines, halved and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper or use a silicone baking mat.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, and whisk until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
- Gradually sprinkle a tablespoon of the brown sugar at a time over the meringue mixture, and continue whisking after each addition. The mixture will become stiff and glossy.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornflour, vanilla extract and vinegar and mix until smooth. Gently fold through the meringue mixture.
- Spoon the meringue mixture onto the baking tray, making around 4 – 6 small pavlovas, as opposed to one large one. They don’t have to be perfect, as you’ll be breaking them up later when you assemble the dessert, so if they end up touching one another that’s absolutely fine.
- Place in the oven. After 10 minutes turn the oven down to 100°C and bake another 60 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and leave to cool completely with the oven door closed. Do NOT open it!
- When you’re ready to assemble the parfait, gently break up the pavlovas.
- Arrange in jars by layering shards and bits of marshmallowy meringue with cream, granadilla curd and fruit.
- Serve as soon as possible.
Make the pavlovas a day ahead, as they need to cool in the oven overnight. If you’re not mad about the fruit I’ve used here, you can absolutely mix it up and use whatever you like that’s in season. The dry pavlovas can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days before you need them. If the pavlovas collapse slightly in the oven, don’t stress!
Apple, Mint & Cucumber Cooler
A refreshing and healthy green juice. Makes around 1 litre.
- 1 cucumber, roughly chopped
- 2 green apples, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 pear, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 handful fresh mint
- 5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup cold water, plus extra if needed
- 1 cup ice + extra for serving
- lemon and mint, for garnishing
- Chuck all of the ingredients in the jug of a blender, food processor or Thermomix.
- Blend on a medium speed to get everything moving, then increase the speed and blitz until everything is smooth. You might need to add a little more water to further thin it out.
- Strain through a sieve into a jug, discarding the fibers left behind.
- Pour into serving glasses filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon and mint if desired.
White Peach & Pineapple Lemonade
This refreshing, fruity lemonade is made using whole pineapple and white peaches and sweetened with raw honey. Feel free to spike it with gin, vodka, or white rum. Serve with lots of ice. Can also be made with yellow peaches if you’re unable to find white ones.
- 1 medium pineapple, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 white peaches, pitted and roughly chopped
- juice of 3 lemons
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1½ tablespoons vanilla
- 4 cups cold water
- ice, to serve
- Place all the ingredients in the jug of a blender or your Thermomix and whizz together at a high speed for about a minute or two, until everything is liquified and smooth.
- Fill glasses with lots of ice, pour over the lemonade and serve.
A few more brunch ideas…
- Pistachio & Raspberry Friand
- Breakfast Berry Clafoutis
- Horchata Oat & Fig Bowl
- Pawpaw, Greek Yoghurt & Honey