I come from a family of entertainers. I don’t mean that we are all singers and dancers, I mean that we hardly ever spent a day at home without having guests.
You may be too young to remember, but not that long ago (before mobile phones were attached to us) people used to just drop in to visit on a weekend when they were out and about. I remember Mum always had Italian biscuits handy, or would bake a cake just in case. These days, it would be horrifying if people just dropped in unannounced.
Luckily, we now choose when we have visitors, and while I’m sure many of you invite people over for lunch or dinner, how about brunch? Here are my key reasons in support of brunch home entertaining:
1. Eating a fancy breakfast makes everyone happy
2. People only expect you to serve them one course
3. Mimosas and Bloody Marys before noon
My entertaining 101 is as simple as this: make it as easy as possible for yourself, prepare as much ahead of time as you can, and choose dishes that look far harder than they actually are. If you follow these rules, you will succeed with your menu every time.
This breakfast galette with spinach, mushrooms, onion and egg transforms simple ingredients into something truly spectacular. The yoghurt pastry is one of my favourites, but even though it’s quick and easy, you can make it even easier by buying a pre-made sour cream shortcrust.Breakfast galette
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 65 mins
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 250g Portobello mushrooms, sliced and chopped
- 1 bunch English spinach, stems removed
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with a fork
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or other hard cheese)
- Salt and pepper, to season
- 1/3 cup fresh continental parsley leaves, to serve
Greek yoghurt pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 200g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 125g Greek yoghurt
- To make the pastry, place the flour in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yoghurt and pulse until the dough comes together as a ball in the food processor. Remove the dough and wrap in cling film, then place in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- For the filling preheat a large frypan over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until darkened, add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until just wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper (being sure to keep lifting the paper off the dough when it starts creasing) until you have a rough circle about 40cm in diameter. Transfer to baking paper-lined tray and top with the mushroom and spinach mixture, leaving a 3cm border around the edge. Fold the pastry border up and over the mixture, pleating as necessary.
- Brush the beaten egg yolk on the pastry edge and bake for about 15-20 minutes until the pastry begins to change colour. Remove from oven, make four wells in the spinach and mushroom mixture and gently drop an egg into each well. Top with the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
- Serve topped with fresh parsley leaves.
You can prepare the galette 1-2 days in advance. Before brushing the egg yolk on the pastry, cover the galette with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Amanda Michetti started the Italian-led recipe blog Chew Town five years ago. Its aim is to both document her family's recipes and show readers that great food deserves to taste delicious, look great and be simple enough for everyone to try. In recent times, Amanda has left her day job and now works as a freelance food photographer and recipe developer with her work showcased here.