We Think Breakfast Salad Should be a Thing

February 24, 2016

Breakfast is having a moment: Sam Sifton extolled its benefits, Eater just celebrated a week of it, and Lucky Peach devoted an entire issue to it. (Why now?)

Two peas in a salad-and-coffee-for-breakfast pod. Photo by fiveandspice

The essential elements of the Most Important Meal of the Day gained momentum quickly—French toast! normal toast! the New York institution that is the "sausage, egg, and cheese"! In Sifton's piece alone, he offered an extensive list of 10-minute first-meal possibilities that began with doughnuts and ended with bacon.

But what about Breakfast Salads? Why isn't anyone talking about the chopped, dressed, egg-graced glory that they are?

Our old friend, breakfast salad, was first brought to our attention over two years ago when Emily Virke shared her love for it. In her recipe's headnote, she wrote:

"After realizing that if a salad with an egg makes a good lunch or supper, it could certainly make a good breakfast (I mean, there's an egg there!), I became a total convert to the egg + salad breakfast."

And revisiting it now, it's clear why it just makes sense:

  1. Breakfast should be easy. (Salad is easy.)
  2. Breakfast should be nourishing. (Salad is nourishing.)
  3. Breakfast should be delicious. (Salad is delicious).

And besides: In countries who haven't been subjected to the football team-themed doughnuts America runs on or "All Day Breakfast," the options are more varied—and more savory: Peruvian ceviche, Italian panino, Welsh rarebit, Chinese jook and congee, Vietnamese pho!

If a salad is always delicious and an egg magically turns meals into breakfast, then Breakfast Salad I'll eat. It isn't revolutionary—and it isn't an egg and cheese—but we're still rooting for it.

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Does Breakfast Salad not jive with your morning coffee? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • Adam Lowe
    Adam Lowe
  • amysarah
  • Kimberly Nichols
    Kimberly Nichols
  • Sonia Fares
    Sonia Fares
I eat everything.


sexyLAMBCHOPx February 25, 2016
I've been eating salads for about 15 years for breakfast. Sometimes with crackers and hummus. Leftover protein. Roasted tomatoes and pickles. Nothing new here for me.
Adam L. February 25, 2016
amysarah February 25, 2016
I've mentioned this before, but when my son was little, he declared scrambled egg salad my "greatest invention yet!" His enthusiasm aside, it is surprisingly tasty: some kind of greens, plus whatever else is around (e.g., avocado, red onion, tomatoes, radish, a little grated cheddar or other cheese, etc.) tossed with a simple vinaigrette, then before serving, gently toss in the scrambled egg. Sounds odd, but the hot creamy egg against the sharp dressing and crunchy veg's is surprisingly delicious.
Kimberly N. February 25, 2016
One of my favorite food memories was from my honeymoon in Sonoma County. I even have a photo to capture the, my new husband, and my delicious breakfast salad.
Sonia F. February 25, 2016
it is almost the lebanese breakfast...ever since
Sarah D. February 24, 2016
This has inspired me! What a fantastic idea! #TeamBreakfastSalad
Jennifer February 24, 2016
In Turkey, in Jordan, in Tunisia... always for breakfast, cucumbers and tomatoes and olives. (And can we talk about why cucumbers in the Mediterranean are tastier than most U.S. cucumbers? A subject worth consideration.)
702551 February 24, 2016
Proteins and carbohydrates are better breakfast items as they provide more energy and your body's metabolism is more efficient in the morning.

If you look at the list of breakfast dishes that Leslie posted, they lean heavily to carbs and protein. Veggie protein also works well.

A traditional Japanese breakfast would be rice, natto, miso soup, and perhaps a small piece of fish and some veggies. In Mexico, beans, rice, tortillas, maybe an egg (huevos rancheros anyone?).

Salads are great, but I will point out that they are a fairly recent culinary invention relative to human history.

You are better off emphasizing carbs and proteins for your morning meal, not salad.
702551 February 24, 2016
Oh, and for the purposes of this discussion, when I say "carbohydrates" I mean complex carbohydrates like starches, not simple sugars.

It's okay to have a sweet breakfast as an occasional treat, but they simply aren't the healthier way to start your day. If you want to add something sweet to your breakfast, enjoy some fresh whole fruit instead of juices or refined sugars.
Posie (. February 24, 2016
um I love this. also, can we make salad pizza a thing while we are at it???
Leslie S. February 25, 2016
Marit G. February 24, 2016
Not quite salad, but I do make up a mix of chopped kale, pak soi, leeks and carrots. Every morning I throw a couple of handfuls in the frying pan, sprinkle with chilli flakes and fry. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and fry a bit more. Like the veg a bit crispy around the edges. Then make a hole and fry an egg in the middle. Take it all out when the egg i still soft. Serve and cut the egg so the soft yoke serves as dressing for the whole thing! Tastes Great!
maci B. February 24, 2016
something that struck me about israel when i was there a few years ago was that salad was available every morning at breakfast! it was so unusual, but i loved the idea! they would top it with pieces of smoked salmon.