Saturday, January 13, 2024

Weekend Cooking: Vale Bill Granger

Shortly after Christmas we awoke to the news that Australian chef Bill Granger passed away in London on  Christmas Day. When my husband said that he had died, I recognised the name. It was only when he said the chef that it clicked for me.  Bill Granger was famous for being the founder of several cafes both in Australia and in other locations around the world, as well as being the author of a number of cookbooks and associated TV shows.

In the announcement of his passing, he was referred to as the King of Breakfast and is credited with making smashed avocado on toast a brunch institution nationwide. Interestingly, smashed avo has become a measure of economic security in recent years.  A couple of years ago a millionaire basically said if you can afford to have smashed avo on toast every weekend at brunch, then you can afford to save up for a deposit for a house, and now this gets rolled out on a semi regular basis during conversations about the economy.

The one time that I went to one of Bill's establishments was when we visited Sydney back in 2018 and we went for breakfast at Bills in Surrey Hills. Aside from smashed avo, the quintessential Granger breakfast dish is probably ricotta pancakes so I had to choose that! And it was delicious!

My instant reaction to hearing the news was that my go to brownies recipe is from Bill Granger, and then when I thought it about more I realised that we actually eat several of his recipes on a regular basis, and I have posted about several of them previously

Roast chicken - This is my go to roast chicken recipe. I think I have maybe made it exactly as it is in the book once which includes the roasted potatoes and tomatoes. I most recently made this when I was in America and my friends and I hosted dinner for a favourite author. My son used to also make this quite regularly when he was in his loving cooking phase. So easy and so delicious! I shared this recipe here.

Chocolate Brownies - Speaking of go to recipes, this is my go to chocolate brownies recipe

Baked Zucchini, Tomato and Parmesan Risotto - We like that it is a baked risotto which makes it very easy! I shared this recipe here.

Chocolate Banana Bread - this was actually the second post I ever did for Weekend Cooking way back in 2010. I haven't made this for a while! 

I took the opportunity to look through the two Bill books I have on my shelf and have decided I wouldn't mind trying Caramel Chicken and Fish with Potato Salad, although not sure when we will make it as there are some people in our house who don't like fish!

If I had to pick the one recipe that we make on a very regular basis, then it would be the Baked Zucchini, Tomato and Parmesan Risotto so I though I would reshare that recipe today.

Baked risotto with zucchini, tomato and parmesan


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
180 g (1 cup) arborio rice
375 ml (11/2 cups) chicken stock or water
400 g (14 oz) can chopped Roma (plum) tomatoes
3 zucchini (courgettes), finely sliced
60 g (21/4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Shavings of Parmesan, for serving (optional)


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Heat a 3 litre (12 cup) capacity ovenproof dish (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and sea salt and stir for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the rice to the dish and stir for another minute.

Add the stock or water and the chopped tomatoes and bring to simmering point. Stir in the zucchini and sprinkle with Parmesan and black pepper. Cover the dish and bake the risotto for 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Scatter parsley over the top, sprinkle with Parmesan shavings if desired, and serve in the dish.

Serves 4

Weekly meals

Saturday -  Out for dinner
Sunday -  Nothing
Monday - Mac and Cheese.
Tuesday - Beef and Broccoli noodles
Wednesday - Sausages, mash and cabbage
Thursday - Chicken Shwarma
Friday - Family Dinner

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. Granger has left a marvelous cooking legacy.

  2. I was shocked when I read it, I will have to try the ricotta pancakes. Always gives on pause to reflect on how lucky we are. Have a great week ahead.

    1. I think I might try making some ricotta pancakes myself Melynda!

  3. Interesting that you have two of his cookbooks. The baked risotto looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for hosting!

  4. I hadn't heard of him until his death announcement, I was surprised to learn that he had created the avo on toast idea, which I love and probably tried for the first time in Australia!

    1. I don't know if he created it but he certainly popularised it Jackie!