Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Good Breakfast Toast

Everyone has a preferred way to top their toast whether it be scrambled eggs, Marmite or Vegemite, baked beans, orange marmalade or jam for Frances. "Bread and Jam for Frances" was one book I couldn't read enough when I was a youngster. I devoured lots of apple butter slathered on whole grain toast back in those days. Apple butter was as close as mom would let my brother and I get to anything sweet and sticky because she diagnosed us as being "hyperactive." We did have options though, if we didn't want apple butter we could have almond butter and banana. In my adult years I have done a 180° and these days I much prefer a savory topping of mushrooms or tomatoes on my toast.

While I was living in Boston I became obsessed with mushrooms. I joined a mushroom foraging club. This move was a bit over-ambitious because I was working an assistantship and completing coursework for two degrees, so I never actually had the time to go on any great mushroom hunts. I was able to drool over the pictures and read about the excursions the group members shared in our emailing list though. I spent what little free time I had incorporating mushrooms into all my dishes. During this period I was eating mushrooms on toast fairly frequently - possibly to be there in spirit with the foragers. When I wasn't eating mushrooms, I was having tomatoes on toast.

I first had tomatoes served in this way during a long summer weekend in Stowe, Vermont. The tomatoes were covered in a delicious Vermont white cheddar and fresh herbs. I used aged cheddar in my recipe because Canadians love "extra old" cheddar cheese. My husband is Canadian so we always have a block in the cheese storage drawer. You can use whatever herbs you like but I used thyme and oregano because those were the fullest plants in my garden.

Mushrooms on Toast
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
6 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 slice whole grain bread, toasted

Heat butter and oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add garlic, sage, mushrooms, salt and pepper to skillet; sauté for 3 minutes. Top toast with the mixture.

Serves 1

Tomatoes on Toast
1 Roma tomato, sliced
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, such as thyme and oregano
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 slice whole grain bread, toasted

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium. Layer tomatoes into the skillet and top with cheese, herbs, salt and pepper. Allow cheese to melt over tomatoes. Top toast with the mixture.

Serves 1

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