Fried-egg sandwich

A puzzling dish: sandwich posing as a salad

Egg sandwich

Egg-cellent idea: Fried-egg sandwich offers tasty tower of crisp bread, fresh greens and fried egg showered with bacon. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

My new favorite lunch at my new favorite lunch spot is a salad that's built like a sandwich. Or maybe it's a sandwich posing as a salad.

It starts with a crouton. Not a cube of bread, fried; a slice of sourdough, crisped. The ordinary crouton perches on top; this one lounges on the bottom. I'd call it bread.

Then there's a heap of greens. If it were a salad, it would be the main event. On a sandwich, it would be the sideshow. I'd call it kale.

The contraption is crowned with an egg, which functions like a crouton, being on top. Or it could be the highlight, being sunny-side up.

Anagram aside, it's a tasty tower: crisp bread, wilted greens and fried egg showered with bacon. Call it sandwich or salad or lunch or, considering the bacon, breakfast. Or, simply, gone.

Fried-egg sandwich

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Olive oil
2 slices sourdough bread
1 slice bacon, frozen and thinly sliced crosswise
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cups sliced kale leaves (no stems)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, butter or ghee
2 eggs

Brown:
Heat a thin film of oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add a pinch of salt and the bread. Toast until crisp and brown, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside.

Crisp:
Add bacon to hot skillet and cook, stirring, until crisp and brown, about 3 minutes. Scoop out and drain on paper towels.

Wilt:
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add a little olive oil to the pan. Add onion; cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, then kale. Cook until kale turns dark green and wilts, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Fry:
In a small skillet heat a little vegetable oil, butter or ghee over medium-high. Crack in eggs, season with salt and pepper, and cook to your liking, about 5 minutes for whites that are set and yolks that are not quite set.

Stack:
Set one slice of bread on each of two plates. Heap on greens. Top with eggs. Shower with reserved bacon. Have at it, with fork and knife.

Provenance:
Inspired by Artifact Coffee, Baltimore.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at leahreskin@aol.com.

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