Brunch has come a long way in the last few years. Nowadays, it can be anything from sticky pastries to scrambled eggs and avocado, Bircher muesli and organic yoghurt, to shakshuka and French toast. Even a glass or two of fizz is perfectly acceptable once it’s past 10am on a Saturday.
Putting a little veg magic into brunch is our new mission at the Riverford Field Kitchen and a brilliant way to celebrate our first reopening since the coronavirus outbreak. It’s also an opportunity for us to showcase veg in a meal where it doesn’t always get so much of a look in, and I’m delighted to share an exclusive preview of some of our new brunch recipes, to tempt you down to the restaurant when we reopen in September, or if it’s too far, cook up a feast at home.
These two recipes make the most of seasonal, late summer veg, taking inspiration from all corners of the world, with some ingredients you may expect to see on a breakfast menu, and others you may not.
Charred corn, pickled Padrons, harissa and fried egg
Padron peppers are always great fun to eat. Some are hot and some are not, so your dish may end up with a little more heat than the person sitting next to you. Sweetcorn is a sign of late summer; an iconic seasonal star that’s made even more tasty with the addition of peppery harissa paste. This spicy Middle Eastern brunch will be sure to wake you up with just the right amount of heat for breakfast.
8 Padron peppers
200ml white wine vinegar
pinch of chilli flakes
Place all the pickling ingredients in a pan and boil for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a dry, hot pan, blister the outsides of the peppers then tip into a jar. Pour the hot pickling liquor over the top and leave for a couple of hours. These will last for a couple of months sealed in the fridge.
Next, char the corn on a griddle pan, over an open gas flame, or on the BBQ, then slice off the kernels. Dress the kernels with olive oil and salt then split the corn and Padrons between two plates.
Fry an egg to go on top before adding the harissa.
Sourdough crumpet, blackcurrants and mascarpone
This recipe is a great way to minimise waste and very simple to make in less than an hour, while using leftover sourdough starter gives the crumpet a much more interesting flavour. We pick the blackcurrants from the Field Kitchen garden when they’re very ripe and plump, rather than eye-wateringly sharp. Topped with sumptuous, thick and creamy mascarpone, this dish makes for a rather indulgent breakfast.
110g strong flour
150ml milk (use plant milk to make vegan)
80g sourdough discard
Handful of fresh blackcurrants
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and then leave in a warm spot for an hour, or until it’s light and bubbly. Now put a small amount into a pan (it expands quite a bit so don’t put too much mixture in).
Cook for 2 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and the bubbles on the surface have popped and left holes. Then flip over and cook on the other side. If using a ring, flip when the outside begins to cook.
Take a handful of fresh blackcurrants and place in a pan with a spoon of sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the blackcurrants have released their juices into the sauce but retain some shape.
Spoon mascarpone on the hot crumpets and add the blackcurrant mix. Decorate with cornflowers or other edible flowers from the garden.