I can have breakfast at any time of the day. Pancakes for dinner? Why not. Sausage hash for lunch? Yes, please! Eggs, oatmeal, french toast, bacon, I am a lover of all breakfast foods. This time, I decided to mix up my morning meal and stray a little from the typical french toast, omelets, and such. Instead, I present a Mediterranean-inspired breakfast toast with halloumi, sauteed garlicky kale, roasted garlic tomatoes, and perfectly poached eggs with spicy harissa. This may not be the typical dish you find at a diner, but that doesn't mean it's not a glorious breakfast!
Mediterranean Breakfast Toast
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 Fresno chile pepper
- ¼ teaspoon coriander ground
- ¼ teaspoon cumin ground
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ lemon juiced
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 small tomatoes sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 bunches chopped kale stems removed (about 4 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 8 ounces halloumi sliced into 2x2 inch squares, ¼ inch thick
- 8 poached eggs
- 8 slices crusty bread
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Make the harissa. Lay the bell pepper and Fresno chile pepper on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes or until slightly charred. Remove from the oven transfer the peppers to a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the peppers steam for 10 minutes. Remove cover and carefully remove the skin and seeds.
- Combine the roasted peppers with coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic, juice of ½ a lemon, and olive oil in a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, roast the tomatoes. Lay the sliced tomatoes in one even layer on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on top. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes or until softened. Keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped kale and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute for another minute and add the sherry vinegar, tossing to coat. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of oil. Add the halloumi cheese and sear until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 minutes or until browned.
- Assemble the toast. Top sliced bread with the sauteed kale, halloumi, roasted tomatoes, and poached eggs. Top with the harissa and serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
My inspiration for this dish came to me when I was strolling the cheese section at Whole Foods and discovered halloumi. I had never heard of this cheese before, so I decided to purchase it and give it a taste.
After doing a little research, I discovered that halloumi is brined semi-hard cheese that has a high melting point. It's typically fried or grilled and is commonly served as a substitute for meat. Firm but chewy, this cheese is mild in flavor allowing it to be paired with many different flavors. The little wheel in my brain started to spin with ideas until I settled on making a savory breakfast dish inspired by Mediterranean flavors.
To make this Mediterranean breakfast toast, first, make the harissa. The spicy harissa is the main flavor component of this breakfast since the other ingredients are fairly simple. If you like your sauces extra spicy, go ahead and throw in another Fresno chile pepper. Roast the peppers and blend them together with the spices, lemon, and garlic. I like to prepare a large batch and have some on hand for anything else that might need a kick.
Meanwhile, prepare the other components. Roast the tomatoes until blistered and softened, saute the kale, and pan-sear the halloumi. Poach some eggs and you're ready to assemble your breakfast.
Using simple ingredients, such as sauteed garlicky kale and roasted tomatoes, allows every ingredient to shine without overpowering the halloumi. The perfectly poached eggs with runny yolks add a certain creaminess while the harissa adds a beautiful kick. Now, this is what I call one glorious breakfast!
For more toast inspiration check out this fried egg tartine with braised kale!