A focus on homemade makes sourdough perfect for Sunday brunch.

Over the last few years, I've become increasingly interested in where my food is coming from. I love the trend both locally and internationally of farmers' markets booming, and people avoiding supermarkets, opting instead for their local butcher, produce grower, coffee roaster, or bread baker.

I've always loved bread, but I've become obsessed with finding good sourdough, and it's always inspiring to meet people dedicated to making one product well. Over the last few months I've had some amazing bread - my friend Sam in Christchurch is making sourdough for cafes under the name Bread Club, and in Auckland I've fallen for Carter Were's organic seeded sourdough, which I buy from her store in Grey Lynn. New Parnell restaurant Pasture is milling its own flour for sourdough, and the kumara, millet, and quinoa options of Wild Wheat sourdough are all great too. This love of good bread was the inspiration for this Sunday's toast menu. Enjoy.

Blistered cherry tomatoes and ricotta on toast

Serves 3

1 punnet cherry tomatoes
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tbsp olive oil
Generous pinch sea salt
Pinch chilli flakes
Zest of half a lemon
3 Tbsp ricotta
Toast, to serve


Heat oven to 220C. In a small roasting dish, spread out the cherry tomatoes. Add the thyme, olive oil, salt, chilli flakes, and lemon zest.

Roast at this heat, high in the oven, for about 15 minutes, before moving it down in the oven and reducing the temperature to 200C for another 10-15 minutes.

Spread the ricotta on toast and add the tomatoes and any juices from the dish.

Sage mushrooms on toast with goat's feta

Sage mushrooms on toast with goat's feta. Photo / Greg Bowker
Sage mushrooms on toast with goat's feta. Photo / Greg Bowker

Serves 2

1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped mushrooms (I used sliced portobello)
1 clove crushed garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped finely
Small bunch sage leaves
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp cream
Sourdough toast, to serve
Feta, to serve

In a large frying pan, heat the butter and oil on medium-high. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, thyme, and sage.

Add the balsamic and the cream, increase the heat slightly to help the cream reduce. Season well.

Once all the liquid is thickened, serve on toast with feta.


Sesame pea toast

Sesame pea toast. Photo / Greg Bowker
Sesame pea toast. Photo / Greg Bowker

1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp tahini
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch smoked paprika
Pinch cumin
Pinch sea salt
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Chilli flakes, to garnish

Blanch the peas, then rinse and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, and salt.

Taste and adjust as necessary, then add the peas and the red onion.

Mash together to ensure all peas are covered, and some are mashed.

Add the sesame seeds, and serve on toast, garnishing with chilli flakes if you like.