I haven’t been excited about PRIMI for a long time, but now I am. Why? Because SENSATIONAL NEW BREAKFASTS.
Yup, you got it. Eating out for breakfast is – and should be – a thrill and a treat beyond the usual wrap/bacon ‘n’ egg options. Whether it’s social or business, your first meal of the day must nourish well and wow your senses. Muffins? Meh.
Applause to PRIMI for stepping up to the plate and pushing the envelope with their fab new brekkie menus!
From the press release: ‘PRIMI’s newly launched breakfast menu still has their selection of timeless breakfast classics, but now they’ve come up with some sparkling new dishes to put the zing back into comfort food, leaving you feeling well fed, healthy and happy.’ Yayy PRIMI!
Chef Natale Schotti has been at the helm of PRIMI’s recipe development for the last year. Her food background embraces the whole of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. These influences can be tasted in the abundance of fresh herbs, citrus highlights and gentle spices that spark up her dishes. Natalie is passionate about using ancient traditions – like fermenting food – to add both flavour and nutritional value. “The doughs we use for our breads and pizza are fermented and aged for at least 48 hours,” says Natale, “so you get a much better eating experience, a lot lighter.” These breads include a light and crusty sour dough ciabatta and a dense, delicious rye.
Another fermentation innovation is a creamy yoghurt relish using natural yoghurt that is fermented for a few days with capers, herbs and luscious olives, to become thick, fresh and tangy. It works perfectly to balance the richness of the luxurious new Salmon Fraîche Frittata, an open-style omelette baked with cream and fresh salmon in a simple enamel dish in the pizza oven. Topped with generous ribbons of smoked Franschhoek salmon trout and a chopped Persian salad vibrant with herbs and fresh crunchy vegetables, the whole dish is power packed with nutrients, so indulgence and healthy eating go hand in hand. (Oh yum, sayeth I!)
Preservative-free condiments are important to chef Natale. She is very firm about cooking without any preservatives and making everything from scratch in-house. She’s introduced two age-old condiments into the PRIMI kitchens, the first being a simple green salt. To make this, natural rock salt is ground with celery and slow-dried herbs, to create a seasoning bursting with flavour.
Another of her favourite seasonings from the Levant is toum. ‘Toum is ancient. It’s basically fresh garlic, ground into a paste with lemon juice, salt and oil,’ explains Natale. ‘It’s amazingly flavourful, and I love using quirky old traditional elements, giving them a new application.’
Expect gremolata too, that delicious fresh and zesty Mediterranean condiment made from finely chopped fresh parsley, grated lemon zest and minced fresh garlic. It’s especially addictive in the Sautéed Mushrooms breakfast dish, with the mushrooms soaking up all that herby, lemony goodness. They come to table piled on top of creamy avocado salsa lavishly spread on rye toast and topped with a perfectly poached egg, light but sustaining and very moreish.
Locally sourced ingredients are premium at PRIMI. There are only three ingredients that PRIMI import from Italy: tinned tomatoes, for that true Italian flavor, bronze-cut pasta and the fine 00 flour. All of the rest is sourced locally and Natale buys from an accomplished local cheese maker. “We use a lot of fresh cheeses,” she says, “in particular the aged mozzarella for our pizzas, also the fresh fior di latte mozzarella, and a wonderful salted ricotta, slightly aged, creamy and rich, it’s a gorgeous cheese.”
This ricotta is the secret ingredient in the hearty new ‘breakfast pasta’ dish, Rigatoni Forza, a quirky re-invention of a traditional Italian baked pasta – it’s the perfect winter warmer, robust flavours of bacon and chorizo in a tomato sauce, a slight kick of chili, added depth from the ricotta, and two eggs tucked into the dish, then baked in the pizza oven. With a light dusting of lemon zest and pecorino to lift all that heartiness it’s a dish to keep you warm throughout the day, even when there’s snow on the mountains. Hungry yet?
There’s plenty more on the revamped breakfast menu, which has several chapters! Everything is there, from 4 variations of indulgent Eggs Benedict, the Frittatas, Breakfast Bowls and classic straightforward bacon and egg combos like the PRIMI Power.
Even the drinks section do a slam dunk, with new hotties like spiced Masala Chai tea and latte to order.
Portions are generous, so to make the most of the new breakfast sensations, PRIMI encourages you to round up a group of friends for a feast to share.
‘Above all, Natale’s focus is on unpretentious, easy eating that just happens to be healthy, and that appeals to all the senses. “I don’t want to be preachy about health benefits and so on,” she concludes, “I just want to include things that are healthy and tasty that work with the dish, amazing life-giving elements with flavours that speak for themselves.’
Well done, chef Natale, our nearest PRIMI will be seeing this family soon. Brava!
For more information on PRIMI and to find your neighbourhood restaurant, please visit www.primi-world.com and join the breakfast conversation using #IAMUrban