Author Notes: Brunch is one of my favorite meals, and living in New York City, it's almost an institution! As a result, more often than not, I find myself going to a restaurant to enjoy the flavors of runny eggs, crispy bacon, and toast. Not that going out is a bad thing, but cooking brunch at home is also sooo satisfying. This sandwich is easy to make, and after some experimentation, I've learned that a ciabatta roll works best, especially since it's prepared on the stove and lightly fried in bacon fat! Might not sound appetizing, but anything taking on the flavor of bacon has to be good... —Rohit Mitter
Pesto Mayo (makes about 1 cup)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
- pinches salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- In a food processor, pulse the walnuts. Add fresh basil leaves and garlic and pulse a few more times.
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while processor is on, ensuring that the sides of the processor are scraped down.
- Add the grated cheese and pinch salt and pepper and continue to pulse until all ingredients are well blended. Pesto should be thick (adjust olive oil portion to suit personal tastes).
- Combine approximately two tablespoons of the pesto with the mayonnaise and set aside.
Assembling the sandwich
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 red onion
- 2 rashers smoked bacon
- 1 Ciabatta roll (sliced in half)
- bunches watercress leaves and tender stems
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large brown egg
- crumbled blue cheese
- Heat canola oil in a non-stick skillet. The stove should be on high. While heating, slice the onion, flat side down, to make thin strips. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onion strips and cook on medium low until the onions are glistening and have reached a dark, rich brown color (~15 minutes).
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and add bacon. Allow bacon to crisp in its own fat. Cooking times vary, so after turning it over a few times, remove when it reaches your desired crispiness and darkness. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
- Depending on the amount of fat leftover in the pan used to cook the bacon (you may want to remove some before proceeding) lightly fry both slices of the Ciabatta roll (flat side down) until slightly brown. Remove and spread pesto mayo on both sides. Place bunch watercress on bottom slice and set aside.
- Place a small non-stick pan on low heat and add butter. Let it slowly melt, making sure it doesn't foam and is not sizzling.
- Crack the egg in a small bowl, or ramekin, and when all the butter has melted, gently slide the egg into the frying pan and cover with a lid.
- Cooking eggs (whether frying, poaching, or whatever) can be tricky, but continue cooking for approximately 5 minutes, or until the egg white solidifies from its transparent, original state. The yolk should thicken slightly as it heats, but do not flip (the satisfaction of this sandwich is the runny egg!)
- When the egg is done, slide onto the bed of watercress (bottom bread slice) and season with salt and pepper. Top with crispy bacon, and garnish with caramelized red onions and crumbled blue cheese. Enjoy!!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brunch Eggs