Okay for the last few posts, this 2.5 month delay I’ve been on have been working for me since things like truffle mac n’ cheese and spicy carrot soup could be great winter meals. This one? Not so much, thanks to the dependence on having a really great tomato and this most definitely not being tomato season any more. So sorry to rub it in, but maybe thoughts of a good late summer tomato can help keep us all warm in this wintery weather?
Tomatoes used to mean nothing to me, but my mind was totally changed when someone gave John, his mother Sheila, and me some tomatoes after we visited their garden back when we lived in Utah. I think that was the first time I’d eaten a freshly picked tomato. It was so sweet and juicy and I remember thinking, “huh… so this is what a tomato is supposed to taste like!” We took those tomatoes home and it took all of 2 minutes before we decided that BLT’s would be for dinner.
Taking the opportunity to once again be a boastful spouse, John’s heirloom tomatoes can definitely hold their own in a fight against those tomatoes. In fact, I might take it a step too far and say that I’d use that friend’s tomatoes as saucing tomatoes if given a choice between those and John’s heirlooms for a salad. Yeah– that’s right– bring it! Oh, I’m sorry– was that way harsh of me?
In any case, I threw this together on a Sunday morning when once again, I wanted to break out of the pancake and bacon breakfast rut we sometimes get into. High on the memory of the then recently made caprese toasts (see hyperlink above), I thought I’d fashion something similar only with a softly poached egg on top, instead of cheese. If you’re a fan of English or “full” breakfasts but want a lighter version, you should definitely try this. You get the whole delightfully custardy effect of dipping your toast in egg yolks, but it’s not so heavy thanks to the sweet but slightly acidic juice of the fresh tomato cutting through. Dang, I might have to make a huge carbon footprint and have a good tomato shipped here from wherever it might be seasonal in order to satisfy a craving.
- 3 slices of crusty, day old bread
- 1 large garlic clove, lightly smashed and peeled
- olive oil
- 1 large Heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 4 large eggs*
- 1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
*Fresh eggs work best for poaching– the older the egg then the more difficult it’ll be to get the whites to set.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take your bread slices and brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast in your oven on a foil lined baking sheet for 5-7 minutes on each side. Rub the toasts with the garlic clove when they come out of the oven. Cut each slice in half on a bias and arrange three slices on each of 2 plates.
Lightly salt the tomato slices and set aside until it’s time for plating.
In the meantime, fill a large skillet that has a tight fitting lid with water and bring the water to a boil. Add vinegar and some salt to the water. Reduce the heat so that the water stops boiling and is sort of shimmering with heat but not simmering. Drop the eggs in– you kind of have to work rapidly but you also want to be careful when sliding the egg in as you don’t want to break the yolk and you want the whites to start setting a bit around the yolk before moving onto the next one. Turn off the heat and cover with the lid. Cook for 3 minutes for a soft yolk, 4-5 minutes for a set yolk but what’s the fun in that?
Lay your tomato slices on top of the toasts. Then using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the poaching water, starting with the first one you dropped in, with the last one in being the last one out to ensure that the earlier eggs don’t overcook and the later ones don’t undercook. Two eggs per plate please, then top with some fresh basil and a little more salt and pepper if you wish. Adding a couple strips of bacon doesn’t hurt either!
CSA Count: 2
Fresh garlic, basil
Garden Count: 1