Ah, the humble sandwich or panino; two pieces of bread with some filling in between can be as vile as bologna on wonder bread or as elegant as prosciutto di Parma with extra virgin olive on slices of pane Pugliese. My leanings, as you probably guessed, are toward the elegant side of the sandwich world. I like pairing salty and intensely flavored salumi with a simple tomato and olive oil (along with a bit of Kosher salt), for example, or even letting the salumi come through alone without any condiment (just the perfect marriage of bread and cured pork).
I’m also a huge fan of fresh farm eggs and consume them in countless ways (frittata, poached, scrambled, etc.). Recently, I’ve been experimenting with egg sandwiches and I think I may have found an all-time favorite recipe.
Here are the ingredients:
– 1 large, farm fresh, egg (there’s a huge difference between fresh and mass produced eggs; if you have a local farm near you try and buy them at the farm. If you need to purchase eggs from a market, then try and buy cage free eggs from chickens that have eaten organic feed).
– A few thinly sliced onion pieces
– Canned chickpeas
– Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
– 1 ripe tomato
– Good extra virgin olive oil
– Good bread (I like ciabatta or Pane Pugliese for sandwiches; if you’re lucky enough to live in the NYC metro area and have access to Sullivan Street Bakery bread then buy some of it)
My fried egg and rustic hummus sandwich is fairly straightforward. Start by frying your egg in a small frying pan with enough olive oil to coat the entire pan; the olive oil will give the egg tremendous flavor and goes well with this particular sandwich. Add salt and pepper and fry your egg until the white has solidified (I like a runny yoke and I think it’s key for this sandwich, but, and if you must, you can cook the egg longer until the yoke has solidified). Just keep in mind a warm and runny yoke is one of the most amazing food experiences you can have!
Next, use a mortar and pestle to combine and crush about two cups of chickpeas. Add a bit of water (from the can if you’re using canned chickpeas) along with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Crush and mix the ingredients until you have a rustic paste (you’re not looking for formal hummus here, just a condiment/spread for the sandwich.
Spread a liberal amount of the chickpea mixture on both sides of your bread and your sliced tomato and onions on one side. Season the tomato and onions with salt and pepper along with a bit of olive oil. Finally, place your fried egg on the opposing side of the tomato and onions. Bring the two sides together and slice the sandwich; if you’ve cooked your egg perfectly the buttery egg yoke should begin to coat the sandwich ingredients, In turn, bringing the entire sandwich to life. I enjoyed the sandwich with a Sam Adams Summer Brew (with extra lemon).
(Photo: from one of our most devoted readers, Dr. K, who recently prepared the sandwich at home!)