Bill Granger recipes: When it comes to weekend snacks, our chef is the toast master
The perfect weekend lunch? A beautifully crisp open sandwich, filled with delicious bounties from a quick trip to the local deli...
Sunday 18 May 2014
Saturday mornings at my house tend to be quite structured. I'll dedicate the morning to running errands and getting things done, so that everything is ticked off the "to do" list by lunchtime. If things go to plan, with any luck, the rest of the weekend can be about relaxation and pleasure.
On my way home, I'll often pop into a couple of food stores and pick up ingredients for a quick lunch. Something delicious I can throw together so we can all sit down and enjoy some family time, catching up on the week's gossip and making plans for the rest of the weekend.
Whether you call it an open sandwich, a bruschetta or simply food on toast, this is my kind of lunch. Perfect for the weekend when you might just want a snack rather than a full meal.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill_granger
Prawns and slow-roast cherry tomatoes with watercress and garlic mayo
Or should I call this 21st-century prawn cocktail on toast?
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
8 slices rye bread
1 garlic clove, crushed
5 tbsp mayonnaise
16 cooked prawns
Prawns and slow-roast cherry tomatoes with watercress and garlic mayo (Kristin Perers)
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas3. Place the tomatoes in a roasting tin. Top with the fennel seeds, garlic and chilli. Season with sea salt and drizzle with the oil. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tomatoes look rich and caramelised. Set aside to cool.
Toast the bread. Stir the garlic into a bowl with the mayonnaise and stir the prawns into the cooked roasted tomatoes. Spread the toasts with garlic mayo. Top with some watercress, the prawn and tomato mix, and enjoy.
Poached egg on toast with chorizo, spinach and spiced yoghurt
One of the most satisfying things about an open sandwich is that you can eat it with a knife and fork, so pile the topping as high as you want without the fear of it falling apart. Having said that, on a very greedy afternoon, I once fried the egg instead of poaching it, in order to be able to use this filling in a bun.
150ml Greek-style yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp olive oil
100g chorizo, sliced
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
4 slices sourdough, toasted
Poached egg on toast with chorizo, spinach and spiced yoghurt (Kristin Perers)
Put the yoghurt, garlic, cumin and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl, season with sea salt and set aside. Heat the final tbsp of oil in a frying pan over a low heat, add the chorizo and chilli and fry until golden and crisp. Place the spinach in a colander in the sink and pour over boiling water from a full kettle. Squeeze out any excess water and season the wilted spinach. Set aside.
In a shallow frying pan, bring 5cm of water to the boil. Turn off the heat and immediately break the eggs directly into the water, to minimise the spreading of whites, carefully opening the two halves of the shells at the water surface so they slide into the water. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and leave them to cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes. The eggs are cooked when the whites are opaque. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a clean towel.
Plate the toast, top with spinach and chorizo then the eggs and finally a dollop of the spiced yoghurt. Serve immediately.
White-bean bruschetta with pata negra and shallots, capers and parsley
This is a great dish to throw together when you might not have much veg in the house, but have picked up loads of punchy deli ingredients.
1 loaf crusty olive bread, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
2 x 400g cannellini beans, drained
4 tbsp chicken or vegetable stock
2 shallots, thinly sliced
Handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tbsp capers
100g pata negra or ibérico ham
White-bean bruschetta with pata negra and shallots, capers and parsley(Kristin Perers)
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Place the bread on two baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and leave to cool.
For the white beans, put the 2 tbsp of olive oil, garlic and rosemary in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the garlic is softened but not coloured. Add the beans, stock, a pinch of salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Warm through for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing in the flavoured oil until hot.
Remove from the heat and mash lightly with a potato masher to roughly crush the bean purée, which thickens as it cools. Tip into a serving bowl and leave to cool. Drizzle over some olive oil before serving.
When ready to serve, put the shallots, parsley and capers in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Place on a platter with the bread, bean purée and ham and let everyone assemble their own bruschetta.
Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes
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