Granola for breakfast!

What’s not to love about Bill Granger? I came across his name when I was on holiday in Sydney earlier in the year. The recommendation came through from a colleague that I must *must* visit Bill’s in Surry Hills, for breakfast one morning.

Bill Granger is known for his modern twist on breakfast and brunch-food and excels in such dishes. While I was in Australia, I was lucky enough to enjoy a couple of bowlfuls of what is labeled on the menu as ‘Bill’s Granola’ – served with greek yoghurt and fruit compote, this was divine. I went back a few more times to enjoy the same meal.

Recently I was back over in Sydney and a visit to Bill’s in Surry Hills had become quite high on my list. Surry Hills is a delightful wee suburb, minutes on foot from the CBD and well worth the small trek especially in the early morning sunshine and fresh spring air. I went back for the granola again, and then later in the week tried the ricotta hotcakes, with banana, topped with a slice of honeycomb butter – this dish was also pretty exceptional and I could have done with a tub of the honeycomb butter to take home with me. I have since found the recipe online, and this will be appearing on my blog one day very soon.

When I eventually arrived home I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came across Bill’s granola recipe in a blog post written by the man himself, and couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen and make it…so here we are (with some of my own additions….).

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Granola for breakfast!
Serves 4

  • 100 grams jumbo porridge oats
  • 50 grams mixed seeds
  • 50 grams blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 50 grams pecans, roughly chopped
  • 25 grams desiccated coconut
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • Greek yoghurt, to serve
  • rhubarb, or a selection of berries

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all of the granola ingredients together. Tip out on to a lined baking sheet and spread out to form an even layer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times until the nuts are toasted and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Serve with rhubarb and thick Greek yoghurt. Enjoy!

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Spinach and Feta Tartlets

I actually can’t recall when I first saw this recipe. No doubt in some women’s magazine I picked up briefly at the supermarket or in a waiting room. I truly believe one of the best fillings for pretty much *anything* is the spinach and feta combo. Spanakopita, quiche, tarts, omelettes, bread…you just can’t beat it. In fact, I’m pretty sure any time I cook with either it is always a success.

This recipe is a gorgeous combination of spinach and feta cheese in a nice pie crust. I could seriously eat one of these almost every day, well I wish! The filling is so quick and easy to throw together, too.…what’s not to love?

Go on…enjoy this lunchtime delight.

Spinach and Feta Tartlets
Serves 12 

  • 200 grams baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 200 grams creamy feta
  • 200 grams puff pastry
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 grams sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Spray a 12-hole muffin tin. Roll out pastry into a large rectangle and using a pizza cutter, slice into approximately 8 x 8 cm squares. Next carefully mould each piece into the muffin pan.

Pop the spinach, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, nutmeg and eggs into a bowl and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture evenly amongst the pastry cases. Place into the oven to bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.

Put one of these into the lunchbox along with a side salad!

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Cheese Pie)

I love Greek food. Maybe it’s just because I have a not-so-secret love affair with feta and spinach combos!

The weekend called for spanakopita (a Greek dish which literally translates to ‘spinach pie’). Kiallas, my local café in Newtown, sell out of these puppies as quickly as they can make them. They are the most popular items on the menu – they really are that good and have the richest, creamiest, feta EVER… utter heaven. Sunday was one of those days (sadly!), but I’d been dying to try spanakopita at home and what a perfect excuse!

This recipe was recommended by a friend and comes from Jamie Oliver. The filling is extra creamy and luscious but best of all, the process for making spanakopita is really simple and only takes 20 minutes in the oven making it a healthy (ish!), vegetarian meal perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Yes, this recipe is incredibly delicious. I cannot wait to visit Greece one day and have a spanakopita, or the lesser known, but perhaps more traditional Tiropita (no spinach). Enjoy this one!

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Cheese Pie)

  • 100 grams of pinenuts
  • 5 eggs
  • 300 grams of feta cheese
  • 50 grams Cheddar cheese
  • Dried oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • A knob of butter
  • 400 grams of prewashed baby spinach
  • 1 x 270 gram pack of filo pastry
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 whole nutmeg
Turn on the oven to 200 degrees. Put a medium frying pan on a medium heat. Put the pinenuts into the dry ovenproof frying pan to toast, tossing occasionally. Keep an eye on them as they tend to burn veeery easily!
Crack 5 eggs into a mixing bowl and crumble in 300 grams of feta. Grate in the cheese. Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest of 1 lemon and a glug of olive oil. Once the nuts are light golden, add them to the egg mixture and mix well.

Put the empty frying pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil and a knob of butter and pile in half of the spinach. Gently push and move it around and add more as it wilts down. Make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom and, when there’s room, start adding the rest, stirring frequently.

Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper, approx 50cm long, on the worktop, rub a little olive oil all over it, then scrunch it up and lay it out flat again. Arrange 4 filo pastry sheets in a large rectangle, overlapping at the edges, so they almost cover the paper. Rub some olive oil over them. Sprinkle over a good pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Repeat until you have 3 layers. Don’t worry about any cracked bits.

Once the spinach is really nice and dense, take the pan off the heat. Add the wilted spinach to the egg mixture and grate in ½ a nutmeg. Mix well. Carefully move the greaseproof paper and filo into a glass oven proof dish so the edges spill over. Push it down into the sides, then pour in the egg mixture and spread it out. Fold the filo sheets over the top.

Place the spanakopita into the hot oven for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Eat while hot with a delicious green salad! Bon appetit!