This is a big, bold and punchy start to the day, a kind of European take on the hot dog, with merguez sausages, garlic and melted cheese, all wrapped up in croissant buns. Merguez are spicy lamb sausages originally from North Africa. When I was living in France I treated myself to them for breakfast at least two or three times a week as they can’t fail to wake you up. Fontina is a great cheese for grilling, especially when sliced thinly, but something like Gruyère or Emmenthal would also work well.
Place a frying pan over a medium heat, add a dash of olive oil and fry the sausage slices with a little salt and pepper until cooked through and lightly coloured on the outside. Remove and slice on the diagonal, then place in a bowl.
Add the garlic to the pan and fry for 30 seconds, then add the parsley and capers and heat for another 30 seconds. Mix with the sausages.
Preheat the grill.
Slice the very top off each croissant to create a lid. Fry the cut sides in the hot pan until golden. Gently push down the inside of the croissants to create a hollow, then fill with the sausage mixture. Top with the slices of cheese and season with salt and pepper.
5. Place the filled croissants (without the lids) on a baking sheet and put under the hot grill for 1–2 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Place the lids on top and serve.
HOW TO USE FRESH HERBS IN COOKING
Add the stalks of soft herbs during cooking to impart flavour, and the leaves just before serving to impart maximum fragrance and colour.