These sandwiches are a breakfast favorite around our house. While the basic recipe is always the same, the ingredients vary depending on the season or what is on hand. If there are no fresh tomatoes available, omit them entirely or use a few spoonfuls of a good-quality tomato salsa. Adjust the amount and type of chiles according to your preference. Over the years, we’ve experimented with different peppers (fatali or habanero), cheeses (sharp white cheddar is our most popular cheese, but Swiss, pepper Jack, aged Gouda and provolone are delicious as well) and breads (we prefer toothsome, crusty, whole-wheat bread, although a good-quality sliced whole-grain loaf, rye or pumpernickel, or a whole-wheat English muffin are all acceptable). As you can see, the varieties are endless. One of the best things about making this sandwich is that it gives you an opportunity to visit the garden before breakfast to gather the herbs and greens. Makes 1 sandwich.
• About 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
• 2 to 3 slices onion, roughly chopped
• 2 slices crusty whole-wheat bread
• 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh minced serrano or jalapeño pepper, or to taste
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 extra large egg
• Small handful lettuce leaves, washed and dried
• Small handful arugula, basil or cilantro leaves, washed and dried
• 2 to 3 slices of ripe tomato
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 or 3 thin slices of cheddar cheese
1. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add oil and spread to coat bottom of pan. Add onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Begin toasting bread. Reduce skillet heat to medium-low and add chiles, cooking for about a minute. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Arrange sautéed vegetables into a group about the size of a fried egg.
2. Break egg into the skillet over sautéed vegetables. Working quickly, place toast on work surface and spread with mayonnaise as desired. Place lettuce and herbs on one slice of bread and top with the tomatoes. Flip the egg, pressing down on it gently with the spatula to break yolk. Season egg with salt and freshly ground pepper and place cheese on top. Sprinkle tomato-topped bread with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Remove egg and any remaining vegetables from griddle and place on tomatoes. Top with remaining piece of toast and cut sandwich in half. Serve immediately.
Contributing editor Susan Belsinger has enjoyed combining eggs and herbs since she planted her first herb garden in the early 1970s. Visit her website at www.herbcompanion.com/contributors
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