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A healthy take on egg sandwiches

When I was growing up egg sandwiches were made with two slices of white bread with a hash brown wrapped between golden eggs and melted Kraft slices.

Like cheeses and wine, my egg sandwich has matured and aged; now, breakfast is served on a slice of olive bread and is graced with a poached egg, painted with a splash of sweet fig balsamic vinegar, with spinach leaves on top.

Bread is your canvas; contrast the egg whites with fresh deep purple figs, bright green spinach leaves, and roasted red pepper (a thin shaving of pearl-colored cheese for garnish). Let the sandwich remain simple; don’t crowd it, don’t overwhelm it, don’t complicate it.     

Layer delicately sliced vegetables atop a toasted slice of rich, dark bread. Use only one slice of bread for an open-faced sandwich that will display the prominence of each tomato and green leaf.

Treat your sandwich well, and it will return the favor.

The open-faced egg sandwich:

(With or without yolk)

Bread: This is your canvas, your first note, the first sentence of your favorite book. Choose bread that is rich in grains, fiber, and that most of all, has character and bite. I use a slice of olive loaf or whole wheat pain au levain, a French sourdough. If slicing your own bread, slice it thick enough so that rest of the ingredients don’t fall through. Toast in the oven at 325°F until the bread is crisp. Toast with two pinches of shaved cheese (I use a hard cheese like gruyere) for calcium.

Vegetable(s): This is your source for color, vitamins, and a variety of textures. I generally use two to three vegetables. Place spinach or arugula on your toasted bread and layer strips of roasted red pepper or tomato slices. Add a small ribbon of olive oil for taste and antioxidants. Be creative.

Egg: If you choose to eat the yolk, poach one egg and place on top of your vegetables. To poach an egg, crack it open and drop the yolk and egg white into boiling water. The egg will float to the surface when done.

Once the egg is cooked, place it on the bread. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and burst the yolk with your fork before you bite into the sandwich.

For a healthier alternative, scramble three egg whites in a pan and place on bread before the vegetables. Using only the egg whites provides protein with none of the cholesterol from the egg yolk.

Add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. Serve with fresh figs or hand-squeezed orange juice and eat it with your hands.