How to really make a meal of it…
As we sit over French toast, fruit salad, yoghurt, pastries and fancy eggs of a Saturday morning, we often find ourselves thinking ‘Brunch is a genius idea. Who thought of that?’ Well, we’ll tell you…
It was the English writer, Guy Beringer, who, well acquainted with the weekend hangover, decided Saturdays and Sundays needed moulding more sympathetically to the average carouser of 1895.
Empathetic to the party-goer who, on being roused late morning, might not wish to partake of a heavy lunch, he instead proposed, in his essay entitled ‘Brunch: a plea’ that we partake of a more hybrid meal that took in some of the light components of breakfast - pastry, tea and the like - alongside more hearty lunch-type fare for those up to it. He even had the bright idea of making cocktails a part of the meal for those who like their dog a little more hairy in the mornings.
He also made clear that it should be a sociable occasion, ideal for dissecting the events of the night before: “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling,” he wrote.
The following year, Punch magazine gave more detail and even differentiated brunch from ‘blunch’, reminding its readers: “The combination-meal, when nearer the usual breakfast hour is ‘brunch’ and when nearer luncheon is ‘blunch. Please don’t forget this.” As if we would!
In our February issue, our ‘Gathering’ feature is a spring weekend brunch. Here’s one of the recipes from the spread, a spring vegetable frittata. For the rest of the menu, buy our March issue, in shops now
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g baby spinach
150g frozen peas
8 free range eggs
100ml semi-skimmed milk
Fresh herbs (we used thyme, basil and sage)
50g wild rocket, to serve
1 Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the chopped onion and garlic. Fry for 3–4 mins until they soften.
2 Add the spinach (washed and drained) and frozen peas to the pan and stir for 3–4 mins until the spinach is starting to wilt and the vegetables are mixed in with the onion and garlic.
3 Whisk the eggs and milk in a large jug or bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the frying pan and mix to evenly distribute the vegetables. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top and cook over a medium heat for approx 15 mins, or until you can easily slide a spatula underneath.
4 Heat the grill to a medium heat and place the frying pan under for approx 10 mins, checking at intervals to make sure the top doesn’t burn, until it is a golden colour and the egg is cooked.
5 Leave to cool before covering the frying pan with a large plate and tipping it upside down to release the frittata on to the serving plate. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs and some wild rocket to serve.