I can have breakfast any time of the day. Pancakes for dinner? Why not. Sausage hash for lunch? Yes, please! Eggs, oatmeal, french toast, bacon, I am a lover of all breakfast foods. This time, I decided to mix up my morning meal and stray a little from the typical french toast, omelets and such. Instead, I present a Mediterranean inspired breakfast with bread cheese, sauteed lemon kale, roasted garlic tomatoes and perfectly poached eggs with spicy harissa. This may not be the typical dish you find at a diner, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a glorious breakfast!

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Serves 4

Mediterranean Breakfast


45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Harissa
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 Fresno chile peppers
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 bunches chopped kale, stems removed (about 4 cups)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces bread cheese, sliced into 2x2 inch squares, 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 poached eggs
  • Crusty Italian bread

Instructions

  1. Make harissa. Preheat broiler to high. Lay bell pepper and Fresno chile peppers on a baking sheet and broil until the skin of the peppers is blackened, about 7-8 minutes. Rotate the peppers while broiling to allow all sides of the pepper to blacken. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Remove cover and carefully peel and discard skin and seeds.
  2. Toast caraway seeds, coriander and cumin in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Combine seeds, roasted peppers, garlic, juice of lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Prepare tomatoes. Toss together tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay sliced tomatoes in an even layer. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped kale and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper, and juice of lemon Remove and keep warm.
  6. In the same pan, heat another tbsp of oil. Add bread cheese and heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 minutes or until browned.
  7. Assemble plates. Place bed of kale in center of the plate. Top with two ounces of bread cheese, roasted tomatoes, poached eggs, and harissa. Serve with crusty bread on the side.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

My inspiration for this dish came to me when I was strolling the cheese section at Whole Foods. My eye was immediately drawn to a package labeled, “Bread Cheese,” where the description read that it can be microwaved and sauteed. Thinking it was similar to halloumi, I decided to purchase it and give it a taste.

After doing a little research, I discovered that bread cheese is actually a Finnish cheese called, Juustoleipa, or “Finnish squeaky cheese”, as Americans call it. It is toasted in preparation allowing it to be heated without melting. Firmy but chewy, the bread cheese is mild in flavor allowing it to be paired with many different flavors. The little wheel in my brain started to spin with ideas until I settled on making a savory breakfast dish using bread cheese as the base.

Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and lay slices of bread cheese in the pan. You will notice the cheese becoming golden brown yet still keeping its shape as other typical cheeses would. Flip and cook on the other side. Meanwhile, prepare the other components including the tomatoes and kale. 

Assemble the Mediterranean breakfast and dig your knife into the runny poached eggs!

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Using simple ingredients, such as sauteed lemon kale and garlic roasted tomatoes, allows every ingredient to shine without overpowering the bread cheese. The perfectly poached eggs with runny yolks add a certain creaminess while the harissa adds a little spice. Dig your bread into the eggs or better yet, stack the bread with the cheese, kale, tomatoes, and egg and make a little breakfast sandwich! This is what I call one glorious breakfast!

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Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles