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Looking to go down the savoury breakfast route but short on ideas? These speedy recipes will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
Don’t get us wrong: two slices of toast spread thickly with Nutella is a mighty fine way to start the day. So is crunching on a flaky croissant straight from the paper bag, or scooping up the sweet dregs of milk from the bottom of your cereal bowl.
But if you’re the kind of person who gravitates towards a bright veggie scramble over a syrupy stack of pancakes on a menu, then speedy breakfast options aren’t always immediately obvious. Naturally, we’re 100% here for egg muffins, bacon naan rolls and slowly simmered shakshuka – but we won’t necessarily have time to make them on a busy weekday morning.
Not only are savoury breakfasts positively delicious, but they’re guaranteed to keep you satisfied until lunchtime. Sugar cravings in the morning are real – hence our caramel macchiato habit – but very often, a sweet start to the day can lead to a mid-morning crash. A hearty savoury snack, on the other hand, can help stabilise bloody sugar levels as well as improving our focus and attention.
If your breakfast portfolio needs more quick savoury dishes than the options you currently have in rotation, you’re in luck. Below, you’ll find three tasty and time-saving breakfast ideas to help start your day on the right note. Not only are these recipes ideal for prepping in a batch, they can also be thrown together at the last minute – ideal for when you’ve a million and one things to do.
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For anyone who agrees that eggs and mushrooms make a marvellous match, the baked mushroom and egg ramekins are a great way to put a fresh spin on the classic pairing – and let’s face it, these mini dishes are the definition of a bite-sized breakfast.
If you’re a fan of anything that can be cooked in one pan, Rosie Reynolds’ breakfast nachos are a game-changer. The recipe makes clever use of anchovy fillets for an umami-packed riff and tops everything off with a fried egg. Don’t forget crusty bread to scoop up every last bit of the yolk.
Lastly, Mark Diacono’s kuku sabzi – a traditional Persian frittata made with heaps of fresh herbs and aromatic spices – is a great way to rescue all the wilting greens in your fridge. Ready in around 10 minutes, it will make you want to start every day savoury-style.
Baked mushroom and egg ramekins
Mushrooms and eggs have a delicious affinity – their delicate flavours complementing each other, rather than overpowering. This traditional egg dish is given a luxurious touch by adding a layer of fried mushrooms. A hint of tarragon adds a pleasing aniseed note. Serve with thick slices of fresh bread.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 400g white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped tarragon leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons double cream
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ramekin dishes
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the onion over a low heat, until softened. Add the mushrooms, increase the heat, and fry briefly until the mushrooms are softened. Mix in the tarragon, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Divide the mushroom mixture evenly between the ramekin dishes.
Break an egg into the centre of each ramekin. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Pour a tablespoon of double cream over each egg, then sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes for runny yolks, or 15–20 minutes for set yolks. Serve warm from the oven, garnished with extra tarragon.
From Lazy Day Brunches: Relaxed Recipes For The Morning (£9.99, Ryland Peters & Small), out now
Rosie Reynolds says: “My breakfast nachos are essentially fried corn tortillas cooked in a spicy sauce. Think warm, saucy nachos. Instead of frying up fresh corn tortillas, in this recipe I use storebought salted corn tortilla chips, meaning the dish can be whipped up in minutes. The beauty of this recipe is the combination of both crunchy and soft sauce-soaked tortillas, dunked into a fried egg.
“I add a couple of anchovy fillets to the base for an umami kick – it’s not traditional, but it really builds in flavour when you are making a quick sauce. Half the base salsa is cooked out with stock and used to coat the tortillas and the other half is used as a fresh raw salsa, which provides a great kick to the dish and textural contrast. This can be made in minutes, and is a great dish to serve family style for everyone to dig in. Don’t be surprised if it moves from a brunch staple to a weeknight supper.”
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
- 2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and chopped
- 3 ripe plum tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus an extra drizzle
- 200ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 175g bag lightly salted tortilla chips
- 4 eggs
- 1 large avocado, chopped (optional)
- sour cream
- handful of coriander, chopped
Put the garlic, onion, chilli, anchovies, vinegar, peppers, tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the oil into the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a couple of times to bring everything together, creating a salsa. Tip half of the salsa into a bowl and set aside.
Whizz the remaining salsa until smooth.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large deep saucepan set over a medium–high heat and fry the smooth salsa for 2 minutes.
Stir in the stock and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Add the tortilla chips and carefully fold to coat in the sauce. Cook for a further 3 minutes or until the chips are warm.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, crack in the eggs and fry to your liking.
Divide the tortilla chips between 4 plates and slide a fried egg on to each one. Add some avocado, if using, along with sour cream and coriander, and serve immediately with the remaining chunky salsa.
The salsa can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for 2 days, stored in an airtight container.
No deep-frying! Opening a packet, in this instance, is a worthy time – and mess-saver that’s guaranteed to add to your enjoyment of the dish.
From The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds (£15, Hardie Grant), out now
Mark Diacono says: “If you have any of my other books, you will have gathered that I do love a recipe that serves equally well as an excellent breakfast, a quick lunch or a solo dinner, and this is one of the best. Use as little or as much chilli as you like, adapt the herbs to what you have or fancy, and don’t be above adding a tweak of garam masala or chaat masala.”
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 150g fresh herbs (use any combination of parsley, coriander, dill, chives, mint, tarragon), leaves only, finely chopped
- 100g spinach, very thinly sliced
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 6 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
To serve (optional):
- 2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
- 1 fresh green chilli, thinly sliced
Preheat the grill to medium.
Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the spring onions for 2–3 minutes until softened, then tip the oil and onions into a large bowl.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and place over a medium heat. Pour in the mixture, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes over a low heat until almost set, then place under the grill for 1–2 minutes to set the top.
Serve topped with more freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of sea salt and the walnuts and chilli (if using).
From Herb: A Cook’s Companion by Mark Diacono (£26, Quadrille), out now
Photography: © Louise Hagger; © Ryland Peters & Small; © Mark Diacono.
Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.