No one likes mornings. Whether you’re having a slow start to the weekend, nursing a hangover or need a midweek pick-me-up, easing yourself in with an indulgent brunch is perfectly acceptable. You heard it here first.
Celebrating vibrant Mediterranean cuisine, these recipes are worth getting out of bed for.
Baked omelette and halloumi
“Omelettes are an all-time favourite at Brother Marcus. We’ve given ours an Eastern Mediterranean touch by adding halloumi and baking it in the oven so it comes out golden in colour and light and fluffy in texture. This is best cooked in a skillet that can then be transferred to the oven for baking, but an ovenproof dish will also work.”
30ml olive oil
½ a red pepper, diced
2 spring onions, chopped
230ml double cream
30g halloumi, grated
Salt and freshly ground
Preheat the oven to 200C fan. If using an ovenproof dish, place it in the oven to heat up. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the red pepper and spring onion and saut. until softened. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper, then saut. until wilted. Put to one side to cool.
In a bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly with the double cream and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the grated halloumi and the cooled veg mix.
If using the ovenproof dish, take it out of the oven and quickly brush it with a little olive oil. While it’s still hot, pour in the egg/veg/halloumi mix and put it back into the oven. Alternatively, pour the mixture back into the skillet and return it to the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes until the eggs are puffy and golden. Garnish with some more grated halloumi and serve with buttered toast.
Rhubarb and cherry porridge
“Early spring sees the arrival of the first forced rhubarb, and adding it to this porridge is a delicious way to enjoy it for breakfast.”
For the porridge:
500ml whole milk
1 star anise
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
For the rhubarb:
300g forced rhubarb
120g caster sugar
1 sprig of rosemary
Juice of a ¼ lemon
4 tbsp maple granola
4 tbsp sweet preserves
4 tsp finely chopped pistachios
Place the oats in a pan with the milk, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and 500ml water and stir while slowly bringing the mixture to a boil. Stirring is the key to getting the perfect porridge consistency! Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring all the time, then take off the heat once it is thick. If you need to loosen it further just add a splash of water.
Wash the rhubarb and trim the ends off, then slice it diagonally every 2cm to make diamond shapes. Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the rhubarb into it, boil for a couple of minutes, until just tender, and drain. Place the blanched rhubarb back in the pan and add the sugar, rosemary, lemon juice and 230ml water. Bring to the boil and immediately take off the heat and cover – the idea here is to keep the rhubarb nice and firm while also dissolving the sugar in rhubarby juices.
To serve, divide the warm porridge between four bowls and top each with a tablespoon of the granola and a tablespoon of the cherry spoon sweets and their syrup. Arrange some rhubarb pieces on top and pour over some of the juices, then scatter over some finely chopped pistachios.
“The Brother Mary is our very popular twist on the classic Bloody Mary, using flavours from countries all around the Eastern Med: Egypt, Syria, Greece and Turkey. It’s a brunch essential.”
300ml tomato juice
60ml lemon juice
30ml Worcester sauce
Pinch of molokhia leaf
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of celery salt
To garnish (optional):
1 tbsp Aleppo chilli
1 lemon wedge
2 small Turkish green peppers
2 x 300-400ml glasses
Take the large Boston shaker and measure in the tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, Worcester sauce and ouzo. Add healthy pinches of molokhia, cayenne pepper and celery salt, then pour from the big Boston into the little Boston and repeat five or six times. This will break up the molokhia a little.
Put the Aleppo chilli onto a small plate. Wet the rim of your glasses by sliding the lemon wedge round them, then dip or roll your lemony rims in the chilli on the plate.
Fill the glasses with ice, then pour over the Brother Mary mix and pop a green Turkish pepper on top!
Recipes from ‘Brunch with Brother Marcus’ by Tasos Gaitanos and Alex Large (Kitchen Press, £25).