On weekends, a Riviera-style breakfast appeals

Sandwich: Goat cheese and French bread seem to have more snap than cereal on leisurely mornings.

August 08, 1999|By Bev Bennett | Bev Bennett,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

A bowl of cold cereal and milk is fine during the work week. Nothing like milk splashing on those flakes to wake you up. No distractions to that breakfast. But on the weekend, prepare something pleasurable. You don't have to rush. The day is long, and you have plenty of time to enjoy it.

To set the mood, imagine yourself in the French Riviera on a brilliantly sunny day and think of what you'd cook.

You'd probably start with an oversized mug of cafe au lait. Begin by brewing extra-strength coffee. Heat up some milk and whisk it to a foam. Then mix two parts coffee to one part milk into a large mug. You have a coffee drink worth lingering over.

Next comes the food. The French have a lot more respect for omelets than we do. Omelets are the backbone of many a cafe or bistro menu, and you can duplicate the experience in your kitchen.

Beat together a few eggs, herbs and seasonings, and you have a hearty entree in minutes. You can keep it simple or add zesty condiments such as salsa and sour cream to perk up your taste buds.

Finally, how about some true ingredients of the Riviera put together into an accompaniment for the omelet? Combine goat cheese, shallots, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, spread over slices of French bread and bake until the cheese melts. Monday will seem a month away.

Toasted Goat-Cheese Sandwiches

Serves 2

4 ( 1/2 -inch-thick) slices French bread

2 tablespoons goat cheese

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon small capers

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed dried basil or 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil

Place French bread on baking sheet. In small bowl, beat together goat cheese and 1 to 2 tablespoons milk to make a spreadable mixture. Spread cheese mixture on all 4 slices bread.

In bowl, stir together shallot, capers, tomatoes and basil. Gently spread mixture over each bread slice. Toast bread in oven at 350 degrees until cheese begins to melt, about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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