Nigel Slater's breakfast recipes (2024)

At the weekend, unsure of justwhat everyone will want for breakfast, I tend to hedge mybets. A few muffins, muesli, fruit and something extremely filling such as porridge for cold days. Iam also likely to have the ingredients for a fruit smoothie to hand and something for a toasted sandwich.

Sweet muffins don't quite seem right for breakfast. It feels as if I am starting my day with a fairy cake. I have been working on a savoury version with apple, cheese and ham that seems just right for a Saturday morning. A really late start is more likely to be the time for a toasted sandwich. The sort of thing you could call breakfast or lunch. The blender takes breakfast in its stride. Smoothies of blueberries and raspberries often appear during the week, and sometimes end up in a bowl rather than a glass, with slices of banana, whole fruits and sometimes toasted oats. And I have always found plenty of takers for homemade beans on toast, rich with tomatoes and bacon.

Smoothie in a bowl

This looks like a classic fresh fruit smoothie, but it isn't – it's dairy free.

Makes 2
blueberries 150g
raspberries 100g
bananas 2
pumpkin seeds a handful
rolled oats a small handful

To serve:
berries a few

Put the blueberries, raspberries and one peeled banana in a food processor and blitz till fairly smooth. I like it to retain some of the texture of the fruit.

Nigel Slater's breakfast recipes (1)

Pour into two small bowls. Toast the pumpkin seeds and oats for a few minutes till fragrant, then tip them over the purée. Add half a sliced banana and a few berries to each bowl and serve.

Beans on toast

A little more trouble than opening acan, but much more satisfying.

Serves 4
lardons, cubed bacon or pancetta 200g
onion 1
rapeseed or olive oil a little
celery a rib
carrots 2 small to medium
chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g
canned beans (pinto, haricot, broad beans etc) 2 x 400g
black treacle 1 tsp
loaf of sourdough a lump

Nigel Slater's breakfast recipes (2)

Fry the lardons in a deep-sided pan over a moderate heat. Peel and roughly chop the onion. When the lardons and their fat are golden, add the onion, together with a little rapeseed or olive oil if there seems to be too little fat in the pan, then chop the celery and carrots and add to the pan, and leave to cook for a full 5 minutes till fragrant and starting to soften. Add the tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in the beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then season with treacle, a little black pepper and salt.

Warm the bread in the oven, tear into chunks and serve with the beans.

Cheese, ham and apple muffins

Any firm, deeply flavoured cheese is good for this – a proper aged farmhouse cheddar will do nicely. Iuse Spenwood, a fruity, firm cheese available at some specialist cheese shops and it works a treat. Whatever, you need a cheese with a bit of clout.

Makes a dozen
plain flour 275g
caster sugar 1 tbsp
baking powder 2 tsp
eggs 3
yoghurt 175ml
cooked ham 200g, chopped
apple a small one, grated
firm, mature cheese such as Spenwood 75g
grated cheese a little to finish

You will also need 12 medium-sized bun tins; paper muffin cases

Line 12 medium-sized bun tins with paper muffin cases. Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and a little salt in a bowl, mixing together thoroughly. In a separate bowl, break the eggs and lightly beat them, stir in the yoghurt, the chopped ham and the grated apple. Cut the cheese into small dice, fold into the yoghurt mixture then lightly mix with the dry ingredients. Take care not to over-mix, which will knock the air out of the batter.

Divide the mixture between the 12 cases, grate over a little grated cheese, then bake for 25 minutes till risen and pale gold. Allow to cool down a little before eating, but eat the same day.

Toasted mushroom sandwich

Makes 1 large sandwich
small mushrooms 100g
olive oil 2 tbsp
sourdough bread 2 thin slices
grated cheese 4 tbsp

Slice the mushrooms thinly, almost like paper. Warm the oil in afrying pan and add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or so over amoderate heat till soft. Using a draining spoon, pile them on to one of the slices of bread. Scatter over the grated cheese. Place the second piece of bread on top and press down lightly.

Nigel Slater's breakfast recipes (3)

Wipe the pan out lightly with kitchen roll – you need a thin film of oil to fry the sandwich – then place the sandwich in the pan, letting it cook for a few minutes till the bread is golden and the cheese is starting to melt. Turn the sandwich and cook the other side. Perfection is when the bread is lightly crisp, the mushrooms soft and the cheese oozing.

Sausage and egg hash

Serves 2
potatoes 2 medium
onion 1 medium to large
oil such as rapeseed a little
large Cumberland-type sausages 275g, or 4 large butcher's sausages
eggs 2 large

Grate the potatoes coarsely. I find the long shreds you get from a food processor better than the short ones from a Microplane. Peel the onion, sliced finely, add the potato and season.

Nigel Slater's breakfast recipes (4)

Warm a thin film of oil in a heavy-based, shallow pan. It should be quite hot. Add the potatoes and onions, let them colour on the underside then turn over. Remove the skin from the sausages, break into short chunks and add to the pan. As they turn golden, cook the other side; tip off excess fat.

Break the eggs into the pan and let them cook for a few minutes till the whites have set but the yolks are still runny. Stir the eggs into the potato mix and serve immediately.

Nigel Slater's breakfast recipes (2024)
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