When considering holiday recipes, I try to embrace versatility. After all, holiday dining is not confined to one meal period. Equally important is the time in between the ceremonial, family luncheon—breakfast and lunch the next day, the four o’clock snack. Since the holidays almost always involve feeding more mouths than usual, I think it is essential to assess mileage as well as flavor. This toast is colorful and hearty in its own right, but it also serves the handy function of putting leftovers to good use, particularly if you make the sautéed kale and roasted sweet potatoes as side dishes for a big holiday meal. This way, you get three dishes for the price of one! —Cristina Sciarra
Test Kitchen Notes
This is the perfect breakfast if you're feeling like you've been overindulging—especially with the sweets—but still want something comforting and substantial. Chunks of sweet potato roasted in a little maple syrup, and kale wilted with onion and shallot make a nest for a soft poached egg, and all of this perches atop a chunky slice of toast layered with tangy pecorino. When you cut into the egg, the yolk becomes a silky sauce for all of the other elements. - A&M —The Editors
Sweet Potatoes: Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel and cube potatoes. In a sheet pan (I like to line mine with foil to make cleaning a cinch), hand toss potatoes with canola oil, 1 tablespoon melted butter, maple syrup, ginger, salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly caramelized and cooked through.
Kale: Wash kale and remove stems. Mince shallot and onion, and set in a wide pan with olive oil and ½ tablespoon butter. Cook on medium heat until the shallots and onion are transparent. Add chicken stock. Roughly chop kale, and add to the pan. Stir to incorporate. Cook until the liquid evaporates and the kale is cooked, keeping in mind that kale takes a while to become soft. At the very end, add apple vinegar, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Eggs: In a medium pot, poach eggs in simmering water for about 3 minutes. When done, remove from water and set aside on parchment paper.
Toast: Toast slices of bread (you can use any kind you like, but I like pain de mie for it’s milkiness, and it’s structure. Just make sure the bread you choose can withstand all you will pile on top of it). Just before serving, scrape a thin layer of butter on each slice.
Assembly: Place desired amount of cheese on top of toast. Use a slotted spoon to deposit kale on top of the cheese slices, to remove any excess moisture. Fork sweet potatoes on top of the kale, and then rest a poached egg on top of the sweet potatoes. Finish with a dusting of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.