06 Jun // Lazy brunch in Wellington

I spent the long weekend in Wellington, mostly eating greek honey doughnuts at my chef friend Theo's new restaurant, but also drinking natural wine with duck pancakes at a Chinese BYO, and also dancing to the new Arcade Fire song (which sounds like this Yvonne Elliman song and I'm not complaining) and drinking malbec in front of a fireplace. There was a trip to my spiritual home Moore Wilson's, and an excellent fried chicken burger (standard) and the downing of many perfect flat whites.

On Sunday we had a long lazy brunch at my friend's house where I was staying, and it was a total dream. We drank this Colombian coffee from People's which was very good (one friend commenting it was the best coffee she'd ever had, nothing like a bit of enthusiastic hyperbole on a Sunday morning) and collaboratively we pulled together a lazy brunch feast. The bread came from a bakery up in Brooklyn, and it had that perfect amount of chewiness, plus it had fennel seeds through it. We had mushrooms on the side which were all buttery and garlicky with sage and thyme, and a big pot of very easy, subtly spiced beans. There was a bit of sunshine but more importantly a heat pump, the Sunday papers (featuring my baking column, available here) mellow music, and a dog called Leroy. It was great. 

Lazy brunch beans

This is a very forgiving recipe! Basically you add whatever spices you're into, with tinned tomatoes and tinned cannelini beans as the base. Chuck in any veggies you have lurking in your fridge if you need to use them up. I used a jar of Chantal Tomato Passata also because I'd been sent a jar of it and it was in the cupboard, but since passata is just strained tomatoes, you can use whatever you have. Also, you can cook it for longer to thicken it up, or you can keep it at a bit more like a chunky soup consistency. It's up to you! 


1 tsp butter and 1 tsp oil, for cooking

1 red onion, sliced

2-3 cloves garlic (depending on how good your mates coming for brunch are)

Smoked paprika - a generous teaspoon

Ground cumin - a generous teaspoon

Dried herbs - whatever you fancy, however much you fancy ( I went with a generous sprinkle of dried basil) 

Salt and pepper

Chilli flakes - a generous sprinkle

2 x 330g tins tomatoes + 1 jar tomato passata (or just three tins tomatoes - I used a mixt of crushed and cherry tomatoes) 

2 x 330g tins cannellini beans 

2-3 chorizo (or bacon) 


Thinly slice the onion. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan or large frying pan with high sides. Saute the onion for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic. Keep cooking for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl. In the same pan, add the sliced chorizo. Cook on a med-high heat to let all the oil out and so the chorizo goes crispy. After a couple of minutes, add the onion mix back into the pan, then add the tomatoes. Stir to combine and season, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the drained cannelini beans.

Simmer for a good ten minutes, and for up to about 25 minutes. Taste and adjust as neccessary.

Garnish with lemon zest and fresh parsley. Serve with good bread, marinated feta, hot sauce, and whatever else you like on the side.     


We had ours with: 

An amazing rye and fennel loaf of bread from Brooklyn Deli

Lewis Road butter  

Marinated feta (I just crumbled the feta in a small bowl and added olive oil, lemon zest, herbs, and peppercorns)  

6 minute soft boiled eggs

Portobello mushrooms: sauteed in butter, garlic, sage, and thyme, with a splash of balsamic.