Challenged by A.O.F., the past week was spent, rather happily, eating gluten-free. In the process of noting each meal, my style of breakfasting – a vague hunger seems to set in only after 9am – obviously requires a little work. Predictable slices of toast or rice cakes punctuate most mornings, interspersed with the odd small bowl of muesli. Porridge sits too heavily, alas, and smoothies, that other unthinkably-easy breakfast, are too cold mid-winter. Lacking imagination, clearly. So, I’ve been playing with morning food and one of the more interesting thoughts, found while flipping wistfully on a Saturday morning, was a dish of fresh Medjool dates served with a sliver of mild feta cheese and toasty almonds; a simple, elegant idea from Nadine Abensur.
Take three or four fresh, plump dates per person, slice each along its length and discard the pit. Toast some sweet walnuts, pecans or almonds in a dry pan until fragrant and, while warm, stuff each date with two nuts. Cut a slice of feta, a mild, creamy one, and stuff a little of it, too, into your date. Arrange on a plate, drizzle with honey or agave syrup mixed with a tiny, carefully measured droplet of orange blossom water. Rich. Blissful. Indulgent. But not the stuff of everyday breakfasting. Lord, no.
Still, the question remains. I need ideas, suggestions and inspiration, people, to get out of this silly self-made breakfasting rut.