Summertime is such a happy time – not because of the weather. And definitely not because of the weather in Indiana where there is no balance between extremes in temperature. I love sun and heat, don’t get me wrong. But summer is happy time because of the FOOD! Duh! Now when you think of summer food, French Toast probably doesn’t come to mind. But Farmers’ Market French Toast sounds like summer, doesn’t it? Let me tell you how the idea for the best French Toast ever came about…
Jordan and I went on this epic bike ride recently out to the Farmers’ Market in Lafayette. The Farmers’ Market here happens in three or four different places during the week and on Wednesday afternoons it sets up camp on the side of town opposite to where we live. So we biked…and biked…and biked and finally found the tented Farmers’ Market circus, which by that time of day, was calmer and the vendors were starting to pack up. I got a pint of delicious blueberries and Jordan got some cheddar popcorn. Little did we know that our future dinner was about to reveal itself.
We came to Great Harvest Bread Company‘s tent – a favorite of mine. They didn’t have much left, but Jordan spotted a loaf of their Cinnamon Swirl Bread and it was love at first sight. We bought the loaf, played some frisbee and then began the long journey back home. All of a sudden I thought, “Cinnamon Swirl French Toast with Roasted Fruit Salad.” As Emeril would say, “BAM!”
So here it is boys and girls – the most epic-ly delicious French Toast you will ever have!
Farmers’ Market Cinnamon Swirl French Toast with Roasted Fruit Salad
Ingredients for French Toast
6 large eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest
juice of 1/2 an orange
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
6 slices bread, about 3/4-1″ thick (I used a loaf of cinnamon swirl, but you can use challah or brioche, whatever you like. It works better if the bread is a day or two old.)
sliced almonds, maple syrup, honey and confectioner’s sugar to serve
Directions for French Toast
In a large bowl, beat the eggs well. Combine them with the milk, vanilla, orange zest, orange juice, honey and salt. Mix well. Soak each piece of bread for 5 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.* Add the soaked slices of bread and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Add butter and oil as needed to until all the bread is fried. Serve hot with sliced almonds, maple syrup, warm honey and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
*In order to keep the bread warm as you fry the rest, place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in a 250 degree F oven.
Ingredients for Roasted Fruit Salad
8 stone fruit, pitted and cut into quarters or eighths (which can include peaches, plums and nectarines – be creative! Make sure the fruit isn’t super ripe..you want it to be able to stand up to the heat and not get too squishy)
1 c of blueberries or raspberries (or a mixture)
1-2 tbsp agave nectar (depending on how sweet you want it)
Directions for Roasted Fruit Salad
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the fruit together and arrange in a single layer in a small glass oven-proof baking dish. Drizzle the agave nectar over the fruit and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until tender. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.