I really want to be a bigger fan of breakfast, but I’ve just never been that enthused about eating first thing in the morning. I can just about deal with a banana after 10am; and I can’t do without my coffee. But I struggle with anything more exciting.
But what’s that you say? There’s something called brunch? Ingenious. A tidy way to get around the problems of early eating and being frowned upon whilst consuming alcohol with the first meal of the day. Why has it taken us so long to catch up, Britain? Since visiting New York, and thanks to the presence on the London vegan scene of fantastic places like the Gallery Cafe, weekend daytime eating has become an event in itself. But why stop there? Brunch at home can be just as great.
Having been inspired by the glory that is tofu scramble (thank you again, vegans of America), my home-cooked midday meals have taken on a new lease of life. Don’t get me wrong, I love a veganised Full English, but sometimes it’s just too much. So I got to thinking last weekend about how I could make a brunch with a difference.
I’ve seen lots of American recipes for corn muffins (Isa Chandra’s, for a start) but I wanted to make something inspired by this idea, of my own invention, using what I had in the fridge and garden. The result was these rosemary, olive and roasted tomato gram flour muffins; and they were delicious! Full of flavour, with a lovely crumbly texture and the perfect accompaniment to tofu scramble. And as it happened, the happy accident of substituting maple syrup for agave (I’d run out) was wondrous. They even freeze well and retain their crumb. What’s not to love? I can see several new flavour combinations coming this way …
- 63g gram flour
- 63g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 90ml non-dairy milk
- 1tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- 30g melted coconut oil (about 3 tsp solid)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 12 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (if you don’t include olives, add a pinch of salt)
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Cut each tomato into eight segments, place them on a tray and roast for 25 minutes, or until soft. This step could be done in advance, when you have the oven on for something else – just keep them in the fridge.
- Use a little of the melted oil to grease each muffin pocket.
- Combine the milk and vinegar in a jug and leave to one side, to curdle.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, stir and add the baking powder. Mix in the tomatoes, olives and rosemary ensuring an even coating of flour.
- Make a well in the centre and mix in the milk and vinegar, then the syrup and remaining oil.
- Once all ingredients are combined use a spoon to distribute the mixture between six muffin pockets.
- Cook for 20 minutes. I left them to cool in the tray before transferring to a rack, to prevent crumbling whilst hot.