We love a table that is overflowing for breakfast. That showcases the abundance of the season. Ripe fruit, a bowl of hard-boiled eggs, a dish of sea salt, crunchy baguettes, pickles, radishes, soft white cheese and relish. It’s such a simple breakfast and can all be prepared in advance, the table set prettily before any guest arrives. So when people do come knocking it’s there ready to be nibbled leisurely. You only need to make the coffee and the bloody marys. Your guests assemble hunks of baguette with hard-boiled eggs opened out, dolloped with kasundi. Breakfast can last for hours, and the table returned to again and again.
For my birthday last year, we had a very long brunch that began with Bloody Mary’s and an overflowing table we thought could never be conquered, but after a short day in the winter’s sunshine we ended up still drinking late into the night and gnawing on the cheese and baguettes and pickles until there wasn’t anything left but rinds and crumbs.
Now, this is Sean’s recipe for hard boiled eggs – and yes you do have to run the eggs under very cold water until they are cool to the touch. I often get in trouble for not cooling them, which gives you a grey white – gross. Catch that water for the garden. People have many different methods for the perfect hard boiled egg, but this is unfailing for us.
We have just run out of kasundi, from our summer batch, but we can still get delicious Adelaide tomatoes from the market – so all might not be lost. It is so pungent, tasty and very addictive. It’s not only the hard-boilies that get a dollop of this in our house.
1 dozen free-range, organic eggs (700g)
The perfect hard-boiled egg retains a little softness at its orange heart. You need room temperature eggs. If your saucepan is too small to fit the dozen all in one layer, you need to boil them in batches, don’t layer them up. You need plenty of water at a rolling boil.
Carefully place your eggs into the boiling water. Boil for 7 minutes. Drain boiling water immediately and run under very cold water until the eggs are cool to the touch. (If you don’t run under cold water your eggs will go grey around the yolk.)
60 ml sunflower oil
8 tbsp ground turmeric
14 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp chili flakes
500g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 bulbs of garlic, peeled and minced
50 mild large red chilis, halved with the seeds removed, chopped roughly
8 tbsp black mustard seeds
4 cups malt vinegar
5 kg ripe tomatoes (if you are feeling fancy: cut a little cross in each tomato, blanch with hot water, then peel, and chop), otherwise just chop.
2 cups caster sugar
6 tbsp salt
You will need two large heavy-bottomed pots, a simmer mat helps too.
If you have a food processor, you can process the tomatoes, and then garlic, ginger, chilis rather than chop them.
Heat oil, stir in ground spices and chili flakes, and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add garlic, ginger, chilis and mustard seeds. Stir for a minute. Add vinegar, tomatoes, sugar and salt. Simmer for two hours, or until pulpy.
When ready pour into sterilised jars and seal. Allow a week before eating, so that the flavours deepen. The relish keeps for months.
Makes a little over a kg of relish – ie heaps. We don’t believe in making a small amount of relish. You are dirtying the kitchen. Might as well make enough to gift, but halve the recipe if you like.