A runny egg yolk takes the place of salad dressing in this warm, comforting breakfast salad.
The writing style didn’t come easily to me. After years penning stories about arrests and trials and city ordinances and budgets as a journalist, I could formulate those news stories with ease. But to write about food — the subjective, personal experience of eating — was foreign. And as I began my quest to be a food writer, it was hard. I struggled with finding my voice.
The very act of typing the words “me” or “I” felt deeply uncomfortable to me. It went against everything I’d learned about good writing. So I had to, in a sense, relearn how to write.
But, eventually, I did find my voice.
I also found a perspective. The more I learned about food and food systems, the more I found myself leaning toward fresh, local, from-scratch cooking. Food
And here I am, more than 13 years later. I buy as much of our food as I can from local farms and farmers. We’re lucky to have several winter farmers markets locally, and shop them with regularity. We include a local natural foods grocer among our near weekly grocery shopping stops, and I buy our rice, beans and other foods from their bulk bins.
We’re also getting ready for the planting season. We rent space at our local community garden to grow food and I am psyched this year to grow from one raised bed to four. We’re hoping to grow the majority of our vegetables for the year.
Becoming a food writer also gave me an appreciation for how we eat — and how we can eat. The lines of what we eat for meals, for instance, are arbitrary. Dinner doesn’t have to be meat and potatoes. And breakfast needn’t be limited to cereal and pancakes.
In fact, I am a big fan of salad for breakfast.
How to Make a Breakfast Salad
To make a breakfast salad, start with the greens. Any greens you like will do, but at this time of year microgreens are available from Maine growers so I started with a mix of them and baby arugula. About two cups is a good amount for one salad.
Now, add your plant toppings. You could pile this with raw or cooked veggies (hint: roasted carrots are delightful hot or cold on salad!) like edamame, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, avocado and more. Nuts and seeds can also be delightful.
To cheese or not to cheese? Cheese certainly isn’t required, but I do like what it adds to salads. For this one, I used torn pieces of Finlandia Swiss cheese that we had leftover from lunches. But any cheese you like would do fine. Shredded cheddar! Grated aged gouda! Crumbled gorgonzola! Anything goes!
Add a protein. For this salad, I used bacon. But for a meat-free option, try garbanzo beans or other beans.
Finally, the eggs. I refer eggs with a runny yolk like poached eggs or fried eggs. But any style egg will do. Chopped hard-cooked eggs, for instance, are a fast option. Creamy scrambled eggs can work too.
Now, you have a lovely breakfast salad.
How to Dress Your Breakfast Salad
I typically don’t use salad dressing on breakfast salad because I eat it with runny eggs and the yolks are sufficient. But if you like dressing you could certainly use it.
Hollandaise can be tasty too, if a little rich.
Another option is to use a finishing salt. For my Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Salad, I used Applewood Smoked Sea Salt from the Salt Cellar, which pairs nicely with the bacon in this salad. I happened upon a Salt Cellar store recently and picked up a few jars of creative, flavored salts like this one. And the best part of using something like this is that you don’t need much to enhance flavor.
And then it’s ready to dig in. Be sure to eat it while the eggs are freshly made and hot.
Salad needn’t be regulated to lunches or dinners. And it needn’t be boring. The more creative you get with your toppings, the more ways you can enjoy salad for breakfast.
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Salad
- 2 cups greens (I used a mix of arugula and microgreens)
- 3 slices bacon , cooked to crisp and crumbled into large pieces
- 1 oz cheese of your choice (shown: Finlandia Swiss cheese, but this would be excellent with blue cheese, feta or gouda)
- 2 large eggs , poached or fried
- Arrange the greens in a shallow bowl. Top with bacon and cheese, tossing lightly.
- Once the eggs are cooked, top the salad with them.
- Sprinkle liberally with a finishing salt and pepper.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.