My recipe for French toast was inspired by some of the offerings at a favorite brunch restaurant called Zaftigs near Boston. This Jewish delicatessen is located in Brookline, Massachusetts. There is always a line out the door at the weekend.
This recipe isn't on their menu, but if you go there you will find banana-stuffed French toast, pancakes topped with walnuts and bananas and date butter on the side of several breakfast plates. This is a recipe to bring some of those delicious flavors home.
Make the date butter the night before you intend to make the French toast. This recipe makes extra date butter.
2 large Medjool dates
Pinch of sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or reduced calorie spread
Remove the pit from each date. Sprinkle the dates lightly with salt. Finely chop the dates. On a cutting board, add the butter to the chopped dates. Use a large knife to fold and scrape the butter and dates together. Scrape the compound into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Bananas and Walnuts
2 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped
1 banana, sliced
In a skillet, toast the walnuts over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside. Have the topping prepared before cooking the toast.
4 slices country-style bread
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon safflower oil
Whisk together egg, milk, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour mixture into a baking dish or breading pan. Dip the bread into the mixture and give it a bit of time to soak.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the bread for about 2-3 minutes per side.
To plate: Top 2 slices of toast with 1/2 the banana and 1 tablespoon walnuts. Serve with a little dish of date butter on the side.
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