Easy recipes to make a big brunch at home

Croissant monsieur. Picture: Supplied

Croissant monsieur. Picture: Supplied

Nothing says weekend quite like brunch. It's the perfect excuse to relax with family for a special occasion or catch up with friends for the latest gossip. Instead of fighting the crowds at your local café, when we can get back there, prepare your own brunch at home. it doesn't have to be complicated - just ensure there's plenty for everyone.

  • Eat Drink Share, Australian Women's Weekly. Are Media. $49.95.
Eat Drink Share, Australian Women's Weekly. Are Media. $49.95.

Eat Drink Share, Australian Women's Weekly. Are Media. $49.95.

Croissant monsieur

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 rindless bacon slices (250g), cut into 7cm lengths
  • 18 x 7cm mini croissants
  • 80g coarsely grated smoked cheddar
  • 300ml pouring cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 190g coarsely grated gruyère cheese
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 140g dijon mustard

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat; cook bacon 11/2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel.

3. Cut croissants horizontally three-quarters of the way through, keeping the two sides still attached. Fill croissant evenly with bacon and cheddar; press gently together to close. Place croissant sandwiches close together in a 23cm x 34cm x 6cm ovenproof dish.

4. Whisk cream, eggs and gruyère in a medium jug until combined; season. Pour cream mixture gently over croissants; stand five minutes or until cream has soaked into croissants slightly.

5. Bake croissants for 20 minutes or until golden and cheese melts. Serve immediately topped with thyme and mustard.

Tip: You can double or triple the quantities, filling large dishes to serve a crowd.

Do ahead: This recipe can be prepared a day ahead to the end of step three; cover and refrigerate. Finish the recipe when you're ready to serve. Substitutes You can use a combination of other cheeses such as parmesan, vintage cheddar, edam, mozzarella or brie.

Serves 6.

Ricotta cakes with honey and roasted peaches

Ricotta cakes with honey and roasted peaches. Picture: Supplied

Ricotta cakes with honey and roasted peaches. Picture: Supplied

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1.5kg firm ricotta
  • 240g crème frache
  • 6 small peaches (690g), halved, stones removed (cut into quarters if large)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 115g honey
  • 35g pistachios, halved
  • 125g loaf brioche, sliced, toasted

Method

1. Cut four 25cm squares of muslin then cut out a hole from the centre of each square. Line four 10cm bundt pans (one-cup capacity) each with a muslin square.

2. Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add ricotta, beat until combined; fold in crème frache. Spoon mixture into pans; using wet fingers, press down very firmly on the surface to compact the mixture in the pan. Cover; refrigerate two hours or until firm.

3. Preheat oven to 180C.

4. Grease and line an oven tray with baking paper. Place peaches, cut-side up on tray; sprinkle with brown sugar. Roast for 20 minutes or until tops caramelise. Peel away peach skins.

5. Invert ricotta cakes onto serving plates; carefully peel away muslin. Drizzle ricotta cakes with honey; top with pistachios. Serve with warm or cooled peaches and toasted brioche.

Serves 8.

Prosciutto and pea tart

Prosciutto and pea tart. Picture: Supplied

Prosciutto and pea tart. Picture: Supplied

Ingredients

  • 500g packaged ready-steamed brown basmati rice
  • cup pepitas
  • 120g finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 500g fresh ricotta
  • 150g soft goat's cheese
  • 60ml milk
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 50g sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 80g frozen broad beans, peeled
  • 50g snow peas, trimmed
  • 40g frozen peas
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 100g goat's cheese, extra
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed snowpea tendrils (optional)

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp white wine vinegar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a 23cm round springform pan.

2. Process rice, pepitas and half the pecorino until rice is finely chopped. Add one egg and half the salt; process until mixture forms a coarse dough.

3. Using damp hands, press rice dough over base and side of the pan, stopping 5mm from the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and dry to the touch.

4. Meanwhile, process ricotta, goat's cheese, milk, mustard and garlic with remaining pecorino, eggs and salt until smooth.

5. Pour cheese mixture into warm rice crust. Reduce oven to 180C; bake tart 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool one hour.

6. Meanwhile, cook sugar snap peas in a large saucepan of boiling water for one minute. Add broad beans, snow peas and frozen peas; cook a further minute or until tender. Drain, then refresh in ice-cold water.

7. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat; cook prosciutto for three minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Break into smaller pieces.

8. Make dressing. Place peas and beans in a small bowl with three quarters of the dressing; toss gently to combine.

9. Just before serving, arrange pea salad, extra goat's cheese, prosciutto and snowpea tendrils on tart; drizzle with remaining dressing. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Dressing: Place ingredients in a screw-top jar; shake well. Season to taste.

Do ahead: The tart and dressing can be made a day ahead. Refrigerate in separate airtight containers.

Serves 8.

Avocado and banana smoothie

Avocado and banana smoothie. Picture: Supplied

Avocado and banana smoothie. Picture: Supplied

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado, halved, stone removed
  • 1 medium banana, quartered
  • 250ml coconut water
  • 140g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes, extra
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes, toasted

Method

1. Blend avocado, banana, coconut water, yoghurt, juice, honey and ice until smooth.

2. Divide extra ice between two 11/2-cup glasses; pour in smoothie. Top with chia seeds and coconut flakes. Serve immediately. Garnish with strips of lime rind, if you like.

Serves 2.

This story Missing brunch with all the trimmings? first appeared on The Canberra Times.