Making breakfast on a daily basis is not my greatest quality. Early morning hours seem to pass much too quickly and life’s daily grind often calls long before I can find the inspiration for a weekday morning meal that works. Having been influenced by the bustle of such memorable cities as Verona, Venice, Paris and Rome — I still prefer sitting at a terrace table on the curb watching the world go by accompanied by a latte and a bowl of freshly cut fruit. When my schedule permits, my chosen moment for breakfast is “all-aperto” (literally translated from Italian as “in-the-open”) just around ten in the morning.
As time goes on, I have learned a few things: one of them is to prepare for an early breakfast while cooking dinner. Making two meals at the same time, feels a lot like cheating the clock. It also reminds me of an Italian friend of mine from Parma who taught me to always think ahead while working in the kitchen. This is just one of the things that keeps a working woman ahead of her own schedule, she explained. . . .
Ingredients for a strawberry-oat bircher
- 250 grams fresh strawberries
- the juice of one orange
- 50 grams of steel cut or rolled organic oats
Squeeze the juice of an orange. Wash a carton of fresh strawberries briefly in cold water and remove their green stems. Cut the strawberries in half. Place the orange juice and cut strawberries in a food processor or a blender and mix briefly into a thick, bright red purée. Pour the strawberry mixture into a Mason jar. Stir in the oats and refrigerate overnight. If you like, add a spoonful of honey to the strawberry purée.
Ingredients for summer fruits soaked in yoghurt
- 100 grams fresh blueberries
- four fresh or dried apricots
- a handful of fresh cherries
- one teaspoon of vanilla extract
- one tablespoon of organic honey
- one tablespoon orange zest
- 250 grams thick Turkish or Greek yoghurt
Zest the orange if using. Stir in a generous spoon of zest, the honey and vanilla extract into the yoghurt. Spread the yoghurt evenly in a ceramic tart dish. (Any bowl or dish will do, if a tart dish is not available).Wash the summer fruits. Halve the cherries. Cut the apricots in half, remove their stones and cut them into quarters. Arrange the blueberries, cherries and apricots in pretty rows. Place the platter in the refrigerator overnight, protected by a layer of parchment paper or a plate. The next morning, the fruit will have set into the infused yoghurt, making it look much like a decadent cheesecake — and this is the idea !
Spoon the summer fruits and yoghurt into individual bowls. Pour the strawberry and oat purée over the fruit at the breakfast table. Stir and mix, adding some fresh mint from the balcony and serve.
Layer the strawberry-oat purée in a jar alternated by the fruit and yoghurt tart and bring it along to school or the workplace. Add some toasted walnuts, chopped dates or sour cherries on top to add some sweetness and crunch.
My favorite kind of yoghurt is sheep’s yoghurt because its sourness complements the sweetness of summer fruit. However, any kind of dairy-based yoghurt will work well, as long as it is quite thick. If you would like to replace dairy with an alternative, coconut yoghurt is a perfect choice. When and if you have time, make a traditional Dutch yoghurt hangop a few days in advance of a luxurious Sunday breakfast. Read more about this here.
This recipe is my twist on one of Jamie’s 10 Food Revolution recipes. I gladly contribute to Mr. Oliver’s campaign as super ambassador of the Food Revolution. I too feel that teaching and passing on cooking skills to friends and family makes life not only more meaningful but infinitely more valuable on an emotional level. Read more on this here.