There is something to be said for proper, rib-sticking, hearty, satisfying breakfasts. Apart from simply filling your belly as your first meal of the day, they give you the strength and fortitude with which to face your day. Call it a spine-stiffener, if you will; I’ve always found that a day that starts out after I’ve had a good breakfast is one that goes rather well. (As opposed to those days – too many of which, alas, I’ve found myself facing – when all I have is a cup of milky coffee and nothing else. Believe me when I say that hell has a habit of breaking loose on those days…)
Toasties – think tartine (open-faced sandwich), only heavier and more substantial – are a great breakfast option that are, alas, relatively unknown in my part of the world save, perhaps, in the homes of people with adventurous appetites. Far heftier than your standard-issue slice of toast with something on top, toasties are knife-and-fork (or spoon-and-fork) food, sit-down-at-the-table food. These are not for either the rush hour sprinter or the picky eater. I like thinking of them as an “anything goes” sort of meal, one where you can put in anything you like. Munching on these, then sipping a hot milky coffee (of late, I’ve become a fan of milkier flat whites), you feel stronger, more capable of facing anything – and everything – life can throw at you during the day.
My favorite toastie recipe actually involves three parts of the classic Full English breakfast: bacon, mushrooms, and eggs. While I know that it’s totally calorific and may send nutritionists and dietitians screaming bloody murder, I sincerely and seriously recommend it to you to help get your morning off to a good start. If you want to amp up the vitamin levels, I suggest adding some spinach, arugula, or even grilled tomatoes.
- 4 thick slices whole wheat bread
- 4 rashers streaky bacon
- 1 medium onion, peeled, halved, and sliced
- 1/4 kilo fresh mixed mushrooms
- 4 fried eggs
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
In a non-stick pan over medium heat, fry the bacon till crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan; set aside. Saute the onion in the leftover bacon fat till softened and translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook till softened and fragrant. Remove from the heat. Break up the crunchy bacon and add to the mushrooms, tossing well.
Place the bread slices on an oven-toaster tray and top with 1/4 of the bacon-mushroom mixture followed by an egg. Sprinkle the tops of the eggs with the cheese, allowing one tablespoon per toastie. Pop into oven-toaster and cook for 4 – 5 minutes. Serve immediately.