The native greengrocer’s, the place I do a lot of my purchasing, show their fruit and greens with a rare generosity. Precarious piles of peppers, a small mountain of aubergines, tray upon tray of tomatoes – crisp and inexperienced, golden-shouldered, tiny orange varieties – sit subsequent to rows of asparagus and brief, candy cucumbers. Mint, dill and parsley are bought in fats bunches and they’re good, too, for curry leaves, lemongrass and my beloved coriander. These are probably the most dependable retailers to return to for a ripe watermelon in summer time and rust-speckled apricots that don’t style of cotton wool.

I arrive house with peppers, fats and shiny, each giant sufficient to hold a cargo of minced pork with rosemary and garlic or mushrooms and tarragon, neither of which I’ve. There’s a block of tofu, the delicate, silken selection, to absorb the fruity notes of the olive oil, the salty olives and the tomatoes. The juice that sat within the hollows of the roasted peppers was so good we sponged it up with items torn from a white loaf, its comfortable crust freckled with sesame. This recipe began out with feta instead of the tofu, however I wished one thing softer and fewer salty, and anyway, we eat greater than sufficient cheese on this home.

The primary gooseberries of the yr shall be alongside shortly. Till then, there’s rhubarb and blueberries for breakfast. If rhubarb would soak up my backyard (I’ve tried and failed many occasions) it will make an inexpensive breakfast fruit, the stalks chopped and piled in a saucepan with a little bit sugar and water and simmered for 5 minutes till its juices flip rose pink. As a substitute, it’s served in small quantities, the identical means I do a compote of blueberries, in vivid swimming pools with yoghurt or kefir, or trickled over French toast. Brioche is especially good for this, torn in half and dunked into milk and overwhelmed eggs, then fried till its minimize surfaces are crisp and gold. Some cooks add sugar to the batter, however I discover it burns too simply, so add as an alternative a dusting of icing sugar simply because the bread comes from the pan, crisp, candy and scorching, prepared to satisfy the nice and cozy fruit, served with extraordinary generosity.

Baked peppers, tofu and tomatoes

I’d use silken tofu for stuffing the peppers. Its gentle, panna cotta texture is sweet with the candy flesh of the roasted peppers. If tofu isn’t your factor, I recommend utilizing feta cheese, crumbled into giant items. You may add coriander right here if you want – it’s significantly at house with the tofu, olives and tomatoes. Use it instead of, or along with the chives. You’ll want bread for the juices. Serves 3

purple peppers 3
silken tofu 500g
cherry tomatoes 250g
olive oil 100ml
inexperienced olives 10
chives 10
parsley 2 tbsp, chopped

Set the oven at 200C/gasoline mark 6. Halve and seed the peppers. Put them, minimize facet up in a baking dish or roasting tin. Divide the tofu evenly between the peppers. Lower every of the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the peppers, tucking them in with the tofu. Pour among the olive oil into every of the peppers. Season with black pepper and a little bit salt.

Bake the peppers for an hour or till they’re actually tender.

Stone and roughly chop the olives and put them in a small mixing bowl. Finely chop the chives and blend them with the olives. Take away the parsley leaves from their stalks, roughly chop and toss with the olives and chives.

Scatter over the peppers as they arrive from the oven and serve.

French toast with blueberries and maple syrup

French toast with blueberries and maple syrup.
Breakfast delight: French toast with blueberries and maple syrup. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

If French toast – such a delight for Sunday breakfast – is to be crisp outdoors and marshmallow-soft inside, we want a comfortable, open-textured bread, equivalent to brioche. I exploit brioche buns if I can get them, if not 2cm thick slices from a brioche loaf. Watch the buns fastidiously as they cook dinner, lifting them as they fry with a palette knife to test their progress. The lighter, fluffier and thicker the bread the higher the toast. You might serve it with cream – double and flippantly whipped so it stands in comfortable mounds on the recent toast. Serves 2

eggs 2
milk 180ml
orange small, zest of 1
floor cinnamon a pinch
brioche type buns 2
butter 50g
icing sugar

For the compote:
blueberries 250g
maple syrup 100ml

Put the blueberries and maple syrup right into a stainless-steel or enamelled saucepan. Heat the fruit and syrup over a low warmth for about 7 or 8 minutes till the berries are simply beginning to burst. Go away to simmer for a couple of minutes till the syrup begins to thicken.

Beat collectively the eggs and milk. Finely grate the zest from the orange and stir into the eggs and milk with a pinch of cinnamon. Tear every brioche bun in half horizontally. Push the brioche down into the egg and milk combination and press gently till it’s totally soaked. Go away for 10 minutes.

Heat the butter in a shallow, nonstick pan. When small bubbles seem on the floor, decrease the items of bread into the pan, torn facet down, and go away for 3 or 4 minutes till the underside is golden. Fastidiously flip the bread with a palette knife and let the opposite facet color, adjusting the warmth to make sure that the butter doesn’t burn.

Take away the bread from the pan and drain briefly on kitchen paper, then divide between two plates. Mud over a little bit icing sugar, then spoon over among the blueberries and their syrup.

Observe Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater


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