Easter breakfast fruit
( SERVES 2 )
You have to grab locally grown table grapes as soon as you see them. Their season is short, the grapes are fragile and there aren't many growers persevering in the face of a continuous supply of cheaper imported varieties. You'll probably simply want to pull the juicy grapes straight from the stem and into your mouth, where the skins pop and the juice flows, which is a completely different experience from eating sturdy imported varieties - sweet and flavoursome though these often are. However, if you have plenty of juicy grapes, or if you live near a vineyard - or even if you have to make do with small red imported grapes - you can make a delicious focaccia-style hearthbread topped with grapes and sugar. I can't think of anything nicer to make for breakfast on upcoming Easter Sunday, once Good Friday's hot cross buns are but a memory. Mix up the dough the evening before and let it slowly rise overnight so that you get away to a flying start in the morning.
If you have in mind a more ample Sunday breakfast than simply coffee and sweet grape hearthbread, you could start with a fresh fruit salad that combines mellow rockmelon, aromatic passionfruit and crisp, delicate nashi, moistened with orange juice.
- Combine the melon, passionfruit and the juice of a orange and add a little sugar to taste. Set aside. Just before serving, prepare the nashi and add to rest of the fruit. Serves 2-3.
- After the fruit, some delicately cooked eggs would be appropriate for Easter Sunday. I enjoy the French way of preparing bacon and eggs, in which the bacon is gently fried in a pan and the raw eggs dropped on top. After basting the eggs with butter, the heat is lowered and the pan covered briefly with a lid until the eggs are cooked the way you like them. Or you could serve a rustic omelette, packed with lightly fried potato cubes and enriched with a little cheese. This is delicious on its own, but can also be accompanied with a thin slice of ham or a little salad if it's almost lunchtime. This recipe avoids the tricky procedure of flipping the omelette onto a plate before sliding it back into the pan to complete the cooking. There is no need to rush the omelette to the table, because it will still be good when it is cool.