This is my interpretation of eggs benedict with a little twist of Italy thrown in. Is it eggs benedict if it doesn’t have hollandaise sauce? I’m not entirely sure. I’m otherwise at a loss at what to name this. Moving on – egg yolk, tomatoes, basil and balsamic seems to go perfectly together. It’s light, delicious and the flavor contrast is immense. This has become one of my favorite little breakfasts to date and I thought I’d share it with the world. Also, generous thanks to my anonymous hand model.
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
8 english muffin halves
6 Roma tomatoes
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper
10 big leaves of basil
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Add sugar once boiling and stir until dissolved. Reduce heat and gently boil the balsamic vinegar until it is a ¼ of its original volume. Remove from heat and cool in a separate container. Be forewarned that reducing vinegar results in a potent odor that will overwhelm your kitchen and likely your house. Your roommates will hate you for it. But when they taste it they will forgive you, I promise. This reduction has a syrupy consistency and can be used on a lot of dishes. Salads, pizzas, beef, etc. But try it on vanilla ice cream with strawberries and angel food cake. Trust me on that. If you cover and chill it in the fridge, the reduction can be used for months.
While the balsamic is reducing, slice the tomatoes into 1/3″ thick rounds. Mince the garlic and spread evenly over the tomatoes. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven. The tomatoes will be done when tender and starting to give the appearance of wrinkling/wilting.
Julienne your basil into small strips. To do this easily, place four or five basil leaves on top of each other at a time and roll tightly, like a cigar. Cut through the basil into 1/8” pieces- you now have perfectly julienned basil strips. Set aside.
Start toasting your English muffins while you prepare your eggs as desired. You can poach them or fry them. Typically, I fry them because it’s less work and less mess.
Place several slices of tomatoes on top of each toasted English muffin half. Place an egg on top of the tomato slices, and then top some pieces of basil as you see fit. Generously drizzle the balsamic reduction over everything.