Today I thought we’d talk a little bit about breakfast. You’re okay with that, right? You seem like someone who is happy to order the croissant and the baguette, and I like that about you.
Before we go on, let’s get this whole “most important meal of the day” business out of the way. I know it is. I do. But I feel more of an emotional connection with dinner, and that’s just how it’s going to be. You can’t choose who you love, you know?
Breakfast has the unfortunate characteristic of happening far too early in the day. I’ve always been a morning exerciser, so I’ve never really been much of a breakfast eater. A plate of eggs Benedict before a run doesn’t really appeal.
I’ll do it when required: before long days of travel, or at a leisurely weekend brunch, or if I am (god forbid!) a bit hungover.
Growing up, we always had breakfast before school. This would be something like a slice of buttered toast (homemade, naturally), or a bowl of Grape-Nuts or Shredded Wheat. I’m quite sure that if we had a pantry full of Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs, I would have been setting my alarm for 5 AM, ready to eat! But we didn’t, and years later, I am grateful that my parents insisted on proper nourishment, even though I would have happily subsisted on red dye #40 and corn syrup.
Although I don’t love breakfast in the morning, I am a card-carrying member of the breakfast foods fan club. I think waffles are brilliant and if the inventor of English muffins were still alive, I’d marry him tomorrow and serve crumpets as our wedding cake.
Pancakes? Yes, good, as long as they have blueberries in them. Oatmeal? Absolutely, please, but with a hefty pinch of salt so it skews just on the savory side of things.
On my good breakfast list: fresh strawberries, homemade muesli with grated apple and cream, scones spread thickly with soft butter.
I tend towards the sweet, but lately I’ve been immersed in a bit of a love affair with scrambled eggs. Versatile, cheap, and super quick, eggs are a clever trick for turning any refrigerator odds and ends into a proper meal.
Try it yourself with this recipe! Between you and me, it is sort of kind of just a vehicle for eating tortillas first thing in the morning. Substitute whatever vegetables you have sitting around for the kale.
If you want a more substantial breakfast, adding a sharp cheese like cheddar will work nicely – just grate it right on top and pop the tacos under the broiler for a minute before serving. I love avocado as a finishing touch, but thinly sliced radish, fresh herbs, or chopped tomatoes would be nice too.
4 corn tortillas (get the best-quality you can find)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped kale
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon whole milk
4 slices bacon
¼ cup mild harissa sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Slice your avocado thinly.
Cook your bacon: You can either crisp it as you usually do in a pan, but I hate getting bacon grease everywhere, so now I use the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment or foil, and place your bacon strips on it. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy. Leave the oven on for the tortillas!
In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. You want the kale to be wilted and tender but still retain some texture.
Transfer the cooked kale to a plate.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk with some salt and pepper.
In the same pan that you used for the kale, heat the butter over medium heat until it melts. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until just scrambled. Transfer them to a plate while they still look slightly runny, as they will keep cooking a bit.
Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and put them in the preheated oven for a few minutes (if you cooked your bacon on the stovetop, and don’t feel like turning on the oven, you can just heat the tortillas in a dry pan over medium heat).
Place two warm tortillas on each plate. Spread a thin layer of harissa over each tortilla. Top with scrambled egg, sautéed kale, and some chopped bacon. Add a few slices of avocado.