This is one of my perfect autumn breakfasts. And although I’m writing about it here, it’s hardly a recipe. More of a suggestion of how to assemble a pretty cracking piece of toast.
Basically, spread some good sourdough toast thickly with tahini, layer on some thin (thin) slices of fresh apple, and then sprinkle it all with ground cinnamon and crunchy Maldon salt.
Eat with a hot cup of coffee alongside and just wait – everything in the universe will align in that bite, and everything will feel good, and warm, and autumnally-suffused with spice.
This is a simple dish, and as such, you will taste all the elements involved. That’s kind of the magic. You get the crunch from the bread, and the savoury pop from the snowy flakes of good salt (hello, Maldon, you delicious beast). The warm freshness of the apple balanced by the smooth nuttiness of the tahini. And then cinnamon wrapping it all in scent and spice.
So, pay attention to what you use. Starting with the bread: I would recommend sourdough, and homemade if you can stretch to it (I’m a convert); it makes fantastic toast. But really, any kind of toast will do – as long as it stays crunchy. Basically, you don’t want anything that might go soggy under the tahini, and your average supermarket loaf will do that. If you don’t have ready access to sourdough, try a cob or country loaf.
And the other thing is to use the best quality tahini you can find. Now, this does not mean expensive. Actually, I’ve found that the average stuff found in supermarkets in small glass jars is more pricey. And worse yet, it’s claggy and, more often than not, bitter. No, just find yourself a good international supermarket/grocery shop and get yourself a tub of the good stuff. I particularly like the Lebanese brand, Cortas, which is silky smooth and fabulously nutty. It’s so good that part of the fun of making this breakfast (aside from actually eating it) is licking the tahini spoon mid-assembly… But if you can’t find it near you, they stock it on Sous Chef, along with Al Taj, which is another good brand.
So, there you have it, kind of. This is an autumnal breakfast that requires very little effort, but packs a wonderful flavour punch.
A few final things:
- If you were wondering how much of the cinnamon and salt, I’d say a decent pinch of each, but it does come down to personal taste. Just don’t go crazy on the cinnamon – a gentle sprinkle will give you all the flavour you want, without the oddly floury effect that an excess of ground powder has.
- A mandoline is great for getting thin slices of apple, but a sharp knife will do just fine. Leave the apple whole and slice on one side until you can near the core, then start on the opposite side of the apple and repeat. That way you get lovely round slices of apple. That’s what I like to do anyway!
- If you’re not a fan of fresh apple, try it with a crisp pear instead. Also delicious.