Croque Monsieur; Wholemeal buttermilk pancakes. Picture / Babiche Martens.

Recipes: Rise and Shine

A brunch crafted with love will bring the family together

Brunch is one my favourite meals — especially after a big night. Recently, while the rest of the family slept off their Saturday night, I headed to the La Cigale French markets, gathered some beautiful cheese, ham, bread, fresh eggs and blueberries — and headed home to greet their blurry eyes.

A few impromptu guests turned up and before long, the garden table was set, juice poured, coffee made and we had three delicious brunch options. There was no pressure to go anywhere or do anything but relax in the autumn sun with friends and family.

Croque monsieur with its oozing cheese and ham between toasted chunky bread satisfied those who had had an extra big night out. The key to a good croque monsieur is quality ingredients — ham from the bone with gruyere or emmental cheese.

For something a little lighter, there is nothing like a good omelette. Super-quick to make, eggs must be one of the most versatile foods in the kitchen. The crab is a little indulgent but great for a special occasion. Add fresh herbs and spring onions with a sprinkle of parmesan, and you can’t go wrong. For an element of surprise, add in a little fresh chilli if it isn’t too early in the morning for you.

Bursting with possible toppings, pancakes are always a winner. Bacon, banana and maple syrup as a combination is always popular, or simply lemon and sugar. Here, I have made wholemeal pancakes topped with stewed fruit that was sitting in the fridge. Blueberries will be disappearing from the shelves soon, so over winter I will use frozen.

If your life seems endlessly busy, make the time for a Sunday brunch — it’s the perfect way to have a long overdue catch-up. Don’t forget these special times, they will leave you relaxed and wondering why you don’t do it more often.


• Croque Monsieur

• Crab, Ricotta and Herb Omelettes

• Wholemeal Buttermilk Pancakes

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New Zealand Herald

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