I'm the type of person who goes to bed thinking about breakfast (like this perfect egg sandwich by Salon's D. Watkins), and if we're being honest, I could probably live solely on good coffee , toast, and scrambled eggs – maybe even with a little bit of hot sauce. At least for a little while.
But as variety is the spice of life, you may be searching for some ways to liven up what is probably the most basic (read as: "classical masterpiece") of breakfasts. Here are five ways to spruce up your scrambled eggs.
Pesto and Burst Tomatoes
Over medium heat, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a medium-sized skillet, followed by 4-6 cherry tomatoes. Salt generously and stir until tomatoes burst — about six minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
In another pan, melt ½ tablespoon of butter over medium heat. In a small bowl, beat together 2 large eggs, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Add to the pan, reduce heat to low, and stir eggs with a heat-proof rubber spatula.
Once there is no liquid left in the pan, remove the eggs from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of pesto. Store-bought pesto is great, or you can make your own (maybe this version using kale ribs? I promise it's more appetizing than it sounds, plus less food waste!).
Plate the eggs, topping them with the burst cherry tomatoes.
Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Capers
In a medium pan over medium heat, melt ½ tablespoon of butter. In a small bowl, beat together 2 large eggs and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the pan, reduce heat to low, and stir eggs with a heat-proof rubber spatula. When the egg liquid in the pan has reduced by half, add 1 tablespoon of cream cheese and 1 slice of chopped smoked salmon (about 1 ounce), working it into the egg mixture with the spatula.
Once the eggs are cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and plate the eggs. Top with ½ tablespoon of drained capers.
Since this is basically my favorite bagel order in egg form, sometimes I'll serve this with a thin-sliced, toasted bagel half, or just toss it all on a challah roll and have an egg sandwich on-the-go.
In a medium pan over medium heat, melt ½ tablespoon of butter. Add ¼ cup onion and ¼ cup of bell pepper (any color is fine), both finely chopped. Stir occasionally. Once the vegetables have softened — about four minutes — add ¼ cup of diced ham.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together 2 large eggs, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tablespoon of sharp cheddar cheese. Add to the pan, reduce heat to low, and stir eggs with a heat-proof rubber spatula.
Once there is no liquid left in the pan, remove the eggs from heat and plate.
I've written before about my love of migas, a traditional Mexican — and now Tex-Mex — dish made by griddling tortilla strips in a skillet until crisp, which are then topped with a mixture of whipped eggs and scrambled.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over low heat and then add ½ cup of crushed corn chips or shredded tortilla strips. Stir occasionally, until crisp.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together 2 large eggs, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tablespoon of sharp cheddar cheese. Add these to the skillet, along with 1 tablespoon of fresh or jarred tomato salsa and an additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Increase the heat to medium, and scramble the entire mixture until the eggs are firm.
Plate the eggs, along with ½ cup of warmed, canned black beans. At this point, you've got a full meal, but there are a lot of fun additions you can experiment with, like sour cream, chopped avocado or pan-fried chorizo.
Artichoke, Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. To that skillet, add ¼ cup of finely chopped, jarred and marinated artichoke hearts, ¼ cup of baby spinach leaves and 2 tablespoons of chopped roasted red pepper strips.
Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally until the spinach is just wilted.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together 2 large eggs and salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and, once melted, add the eggs to the skillet. Once the egg liquid in the pan has reduced by half, add in 1 tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese. Continue scrambling until the eggs have cooked through.
Remove from heat and plate. I like to serve these eggs with a hearty toast, like a rye or a slice of country loaf.