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Open-Faced Green Breakfast Sandwich

I cannot figure out what I love most about this sandwich. Is it the crisp, buttery English muffin with a luscious cream cheese and pesto spread? Or is it the delectable egg/avocado/arugula combination? It’s probably the cream cheese, because even a small amount gives this sandwich an element of je ne sais quoi, which sounds fancy to say. (You know what’s not fancy? The fact that I used to eat cream cheese with a spoon in high school.) A drizzle of your favorite hot sauce brightens the dish and gives it a really pretty pop of color. It is extremely simple to make, especially with store-bought pesto, and yet it feels elegant enough to serve at a fancy brunch. You know, those mid-morning gatherings where you invite only your fancy friends over to wear fancy clothes, eat fancy foods and talk about fancy things. . .like changing diapers?

Serves 4

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

2 English muffins, split

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 ½ tablespoons refrigerated basil pesto

4 large eggs

1 medium-sized ripe avocado, sliced

2 cups packed baby arugula

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Sriracha chili sauce (optional)

1. Preheat the broiler to HIGH with the oven rack 6 inches from the heat. Place the English muffin halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet; spread evenly with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Broil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the muffin halves to a plate.

2. Stir together the cream cheese and pesto in a small bowl.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet; crack the eggs into the skillet, leaving room between the eggs. Cook to desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes for runny yolks.

4. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on the toasted cut sides of the muffin halves; top each with a quarter of the avocado slices. Top each with 1 cooked egg.

5. Toss together the arugula, olive oil, and lemon juice; place about ½ cup of the arugula mixture on each egg. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper, and serve immediately, with Sriracha, if desired.

Siriously Fancy

Add a few slices of smoked salmon to each breakfast sandwich just on top of the cream cheese layer to heighten the decadence (and fanciness) of this delicious breakfast sandwich stack.

Siriously Simple

If you have extra cream cheese and pesto, try stirring it into your favorite cooked pasta for an easy weeknight dinner.

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