Ever since @jojogifford tweeted about the Leon cookbook, I was intrigued.  Luckily, I received the Leon Ingredients & Recipes Cookbook shortly after and my intrigue had turned into joy. This cookbook is fantastic.  In fact, every time I am in London and anywhere near a Leon restaurant, I go there and take a new friend with me. (Try the meatball hotbox!!) So, wanting test out my new cookbook, I decided to incorporate one of its recipes into my Easter brunch menu.  Granola won the draw.

The history of my Easter brunch is a long standing tradition. It was the cornerstone of Easter in the Bals household.  Early memories of brunch go back to when I was about nine or ten years old, first going to a golf club in Rocklin (The cherry pie was full of cornstarch… yuck… but why was I eating cherry pie at brunch in the first place. My mistake!) to Charlie Browns.  Ok, this place was the brunch place of all brunch places- enough to rival the morning buffet spread at a high end Vegas hotel (I think, I’m only speculating).  Omelette bars, crepe bars, carvery, salad bars and the ultimate ice cream bar. Yes, you heard me: ICE-CREAM-BAR, like hot fudge sundaes, banana splits, you name it.  When you are 12 years old this is heaven, mecca, valhalla or whatever afterlife you believe. Ice cream bar. We’d go there every year whether it was just the immediate family or with Papa Joe, Aunt Sharon and my cousin, Lauren.  You saved up for brunch – like didn’t eat for a week to prepare for this.  Unfortunately, or fortunately for my waistline, Charlie Brown’s shut up shop in Sacramento. So these extravagant brunches ceased for our family tradition.  But brunch did not.  In fact, even when we lived in Seattle Lauren and I made sure to meet for brunch on easter (14 Carrots… mmm).

Where was I, oh yes… brunch. Many years later, I find myself living in England. A country that has not quite grasped the beauty of brunch (no, all day breakfasts do not count).  I decided this year I would host brunch on Easter Monday. And I did. And it was awesome.

I made lemon ricotta pancakes, recipe courtesy of one of my heroes Mireille Guiliano, served with smoked salmon, greek yogurt, homemade damson compote and the Leon granola.  I cannot recommend this recipe enough.  It makes a kilo and the only downside is that it’s not enough.  Between brunch and subsequent breakfasts for my husband and I, it didn’t last long.  (I really do need to make some more).

So, if you are still reading after my waxing lyrical about brunch and you are a granola fan, definitely try the Leon granola recipe.