A smoothie downed while getting dressed. A nutrition bar thrown in your bag. A bottle of pressed juice chugged on the morning commute. So much for leisurely mornings—the measure of a good breakfast has become all about speed and convenience.
But Zoe Nathan, the chef/co-owner of Huckleberry Bakery & Café, is making a rallying cry for a “slow” breakfast with her new cookbook, Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from Our Kitchen, which reflects the Santa Monica eatery’s nourishing approach to morning meals.
To Nathan, taking the time to mindfully eat a nutritious breakfast can be a healthful and meaningful start to the day. “Sitting down for a few moments and slowly eating a homemade muffin is good for you,” she says.
That is, if it’s a muffin from the Huckleberry repertoire. The cookbook features recipes for wholesome muffins, pancakes, scones and other baked goods loaded with fresh fruits and veggies. Nathan often employs alternative flours like rye and buckwheat, as well as natural sugars like maple syrup. There are also plenty of gluten-free options among the recipes and choices for vegans too.
Zoe Nathan, Chef and co-owner of Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe. Photo credit (L-R): Matt Amendariz, Emily Hart Roth
But if your tastes or dietary preferences tend toward the savory, then the book’s egg dishes, like hearty roasted root vegetables with eggs, will supremely satisfy. You might not think of beets, carrots and turnips as breakfast fare, but the combo with sunny-side-up eggs is surprisingly delicious.
Want to make this “slow” breakfast a fast one? Simple: roast the vegetables the night before. As Nathan says, “Just wake up and put an egg on it.”
Makes 2 servings
2 or 3 small beets, plus 3 cups beet greens, washed and chopped
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 apple, unpeeled, sliced into eighths
2 small turnips
2 cups sliced carrots, cut into ½-inch coins
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 to 4 eggs
Fleur de sel for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
1. Put the beets, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and ⅛ teaspoon salt on a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap thoroughly. Roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toss the apple, turnips, and carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the rosemary. Place on a sheet and roast beside the beets until browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer, and the beets are fork-tender. While warm, but not hot, rub the skin off the beets with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Slice the beets.
3. When everything is roasted, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic in a large sauté pan over medium-high until browned and fragrant. Discard the garlic. Add the beet greens and capers and sauté until wilted. Add the roasted vegetables and sauté until heated through. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Remove from the heat, toss with mustard and parsley, and set aside.
4. When it comes to frying the eggs, you may need to either work in batches or have two pans going at once. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Crack 2 eggs into a small bowl and gently slide them into the butter. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are runny, about 2 minutes. When ready, give the pan a gentle shake to loosen the eggs.
5. Meanwhile, mound the roasted vegetables onto two plates. Slide the eggs on the vegetables, and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Repeat with any remaining butter and eggs.
The roasted vegetable mixture keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
Huckleberry Bakery & Café
1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica