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While our food editors are no strangers to a sweet breakfast—they’ve perfected everything from pancakes and waffles to donuts and sticky buns on the job—if they had their druthers for the first meal of the day, it would be savory all the way. Plus, the test kitchen makes it easy—there’s always plenty of ingredients, not to mention delectable leftovers, to experiment and get creative with.
We caught up with Sarah as she turned humble bits and pieces in the kitchen into an impressive off-the-cuff frittata. She combined eggs with leftover ham, cherry tomatoes, and scallions (the filling is sauteed first to reduce moisture), dotted the top with cream cheese and blue cheese, and placed the whole thing under the broiler until puffed and golden. The piece de resistance? Sarah transformed a lone avocado half into a bright topping by tossing it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and more cherry tomatoes. She says, “Is this the best Frankenfood or what? It’s like avocado toast, but the toast is a frittata!”
Sarah’s frittata got the rest of the 42 Burners team talking about their favorite savory breakfasts. One of Greg’s go-tos is avocado toast, which is anything but basic when he makes it. He adds an olive oil-fried egg; cherry tomatoes, which are flavorful even in the winter months (roasted or oven-dried tomatoes would also be wonderful if you have some stashed away); and fresh basil to make everything pop.
There are two tricks to getting the dish just right: Salt the avocado and tomatoes before layering them onto the bread, and baste the egg with oil when frying (simply tilt the pan and spoon the oil over the top) for those nice crispy edges. The result? Greg says, “You get your protein, good fat, carb, and vegetable all in one delicious dish."
Lauryn recently added a traditional Persian dish called borani to her breakfast rotation. It teams thick strained yogurt with cooked vegetables, fried onions, and saffron water. Lauryn uses sauteed dandelion greens and seasons the yogurt with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. She says, “It’s typically served as an appetizer, but topping it with a fried or poached egg makes it breakfast.”
And that’s not the only way she incorporates greens into her morning routine! Lauryn’s also a fan of salad for breakfast, like this Warm Salad with Egg and Pancetta. She often goes even simpler, tossing whatever greens she can find in her crisper drawer with a quick vinaigrette (usually red-wine vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil, and a little mustard to give it body) and fried or scrambled eggs.
Shira’s all about reworking last night’s dinner into today’s breakfast, such as this cioppino served over polenta with poached eggs. She says, “Polenta is a great vehicle for anything savory in the morning because it has that porridge-like quality.” Shira recommends giving Cannellini-Bean and Greens Stew the same treatment. Or you can follow the original recipe and use rustic bread as the canvas—you can’t go wrong with toast at breakfast. Just don’t forget the poached eggs!
Watch Shira make this breakfast-friendly vegetarian stew (it's one-pot to boot!):