Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good breakfast? This first meal of the day is by far my favourite, and I could eat breakfast foods at any time of the day. I don’t really understand people who skip breakfast – why would you miss an opportunity to eat yummy food? Ha.
In this transition time between winter and spring season, I am still yearning for hearty, warm comfort foods but slowly introducing some lighter meals too. This dish is perfect for this time of the year! Warming, rich french toast with the citrusy freshness of blood oranges that are still around at this time of year.
Blood oranges – aren’t they the most beautiful fruit? Cutting one and opening it up to see it’s unique deep red streaks & shades is just so exciting, time and time again. Compared to regular oranges, they have a little more bitterness (like cranberry) and some raspberry notes. So yum. In this dish it’s juices are cooked down to make a simple reduction to pour over the toast, plus fresh fruit as a topping. They definitely bring any dish to live with it’s gorgeous colours.
A little thyme provides some subtle savoury and flowery notes to the dish. I grow a big plant on my balcony and I am able to use it all year around (being a little mindful not to overharvest in winter). It’s a very hardy herb and so versatile! If you can, use freshly picked thyme over store bought, as it lends so much more aroma to this dish.
French toast is the ultimate way to use up old bread, and that could be bread of any kind! A regular loaf, raisin toast, brioche or stale croissants all work beautifully. I often find that French stick bread tends to be cut up and leftover at dinner parties, so that’s what I’ve used for today’s recipe – you’ll never want to throw it out again!
Make this recipe for your loved ones on a Saturday morning, or for a brunch with friends. It’s quick to whip up and looks impressive with little effort (those meals are the best, right?). Serve it with a great coffee – I think a bright Kenian coffee goes particularly well with it!
Ready for some brunch goodness? Let’s get some French Toast on!
Recipe: Blood Orange & Thyme French Toast
Time: 20 min – Serves: 4
- 6 blood oranges, juiced
- 2 blood oranges, skin removed & cut in wedges
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk (or plant based alternative like almond milk)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp raw sugar (optional)
- stale bread (see notes), enough for 4 servings
- butter for frying
- to serve: greek yoghurt, maple syrup, powder sugar, butter, honey
- Start by making the blood orange reduction: add the juice of 6 oranges & 2 sprigs of thyme to a small pot and bring to a boil. Gently simmer until the liquid has reduced and becomes a little syrupy, about 10 minutes. You can use cold spoon to test the liquidity – stick in in and hold upside down. If some sticks to the spoon it’s ready. Let it cool down a little.
- In a wide bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt and sugar (optional) together with a whisk. Add a couple of bread slices to the mixture and let them soak for a minute or two, then turn over and let soak a little longer. Timing depends on the type of bread you’re using – you want the bread to be totally soaked but not falling apart.
- In a hot pan, melt a little butter and the soaked bread slices. Cook until golden brown, turn over and cook the other side. Once done, transfer to a plate and cook the next batch (you can soak those during cooking the first batch).
- Time to serve! Drizzle some of the blood orange reduction on the plate, make a stack of french toast and add some fresh blood orange wedges. Drizzle with some more reduction and sprinkle on a few thyme leaves (don’t go overboard here). Top with your favourite yogurt (or icecream), some maple syrup or a little icing sugar – pick your favourites!
You can use any type of old bread in this recipe. I used leftover french stick bread, but you could use sandwich bread, old croissants or even raisin toast! Use what you have.
If you don’t have any blood oranges, you could substitute with regular oranges or clementines too!
The reduction is supposed to be a little savoury with a hint of bitterness – if you like it more sweet you can add a tablespoon or two of sugar or some honey.
To keep the toast warm, you can put them on a tray and leave them in a moderately hot oven while you cook the rest of the batch (or welcome your guests). Don’t leave them longer than 30 minutes to avoid drying the toast out!
Let me know if you try this & post using #eatyourdailygreens! And don’t forget to subscribe below to stay updated when a new post hits the blog 🙂