My personal Breakfast of Champions is a fried egg on a handful of raw greens – say arugula, dandelion, baby spinach, watercress or even mesclun – lightly dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and a few drops of sherry vinegar, salt and pepper, maybe some snipped chives. It is a play on a classic rustic Italian dish: steamed asparagus with a fried egg and some grated Parmigiano. The operating principle is that when you break the soft-cooked yolk, it spills onto the vegetable like a sauce; vegetable and protein, marry, with little fuss, in a single delicious dish.

I love that idea so much that I tried putting a fried egg on all manner of cooked vegetables – roasted sliced onions or peppers, crushed boiled new potatoes, piles of sautéed escarole or wild mushrooms– until it seemed the natural course of things to throw a fried egg on a plate of spaghetti, which, when mixed with Parmigiano, simulated a Carbonara. It is the ultimate lazy person’s supper.

Maria Robledo
Maria Robledo

The idea of a breakfast version came from my belief in the energizing power of raw greens coupled with the need for an easily-made and delectable breakfast for myself when I’m moving fast.  “Why not throw the fried egg on raw greens,” I wondered “and marry the asparagus-fried-egg gist and with the dandelion-salad-topped-with-a-soft cooked- quail-egg that appears on restaurant menus here and there?”

For me, it is a perfect breakfast, born of a formula that works for any meal, any time of day:

a savory base (cooked vegetables or pasta; if raw greens, dress them with extra virgin olive oil, a few drops of sherry vinegar, salt and pepper)

+ grated or shaved Parmigiano (grated for cooked stuff; on raw greens, use shaved or none at all)

+ a sunny side-up fried egg


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15 replies on “fried egg formula for a satisfying breakfast (or lunch or dinner)

  1. Funny – just home from long day – two eggs in fridge and last nights sautéed kale and boiled beets from 5 days back. Poached the eggs – reheated the veg – poured some wine and happy as can be. Love your blog. Love you. X F

  2. I’d take an invitation to THAT dinner any day. With eggs and leftovers and of glass of wine, we can survive just fine.
    (How nice to see you here!)

  3. ps: I forgot to emphasize the great point of your post: that poached eggs work equally well.

  4. Whenever I’m home, my dad poaches my eggs. I vote for poached. And if you have fresh asparagus…….

  5. Hi Mr. Lummox, Poached eggs are something that should be in every cook’s repertoire. It’s really easy if you know a few tricks. Here’s a terrific little video of the whole process and the logic behind the steps, by Bay area food editor Jenny Slafkosky.
    I’d love to know how your egg poaching turns out, and what you put them on.

  6. Yeah, poached or fried eggs on steamed asparagus (with some butter and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano) is THE BEST! (my fall back dinner)

  7. Yes, so fried egg on top of a bowl full of greens is what I’ll be having for breakfast tomorrow – so simple, so perfect. Thanks!

  8. Love the egg post. Any ideas for my 93 y/o mom who only has a microwave in her apt? She does miss a good poached egg. Her errant daughter hasn’t taken the time to experiment.

  9. Here is my best emergency dinner or lunch when time is tight, and energy lagging. I always have on hand Yemenite chile paste ( a puree of fresh jalapeños, coriander, parsley, garlic, cumin, olive oil and lemon) or harissa, the North African pungent hot paste. I call it my culinary insurance.
    I fry an egg, spread the paste on the toast, tuck in some lettuce if I have some, or a roasted tomato and then figure I am going to need a bib as the fried egg dribbles out of the toast, and down my chin.

    Fast, satisfying and subject to infinite variations!

  10. Hey, that sounds great!!! Where do you get Yemenite chile paste???!!!

  11. one of my absolute standbys for a while was sauteed mushrooms, on toast, usually a piece of bread i rubbed with garlic after it was toasted, and the fried egg on top…yum. thanks sally

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