A fried egg on avo toast with mushrooms, spinach and pesto takes your breakfast to a whole new delicious level. I love all the textures and flavours in this simple breakfast or brunch idea.
Last week it was with great jubilation that I attended the South African Avocado Growers Association breakfast at Open Door Restaurant in Constantia. Jubilation because it was to officially announce the start of the new avocado season (if that isn’t a reason to celebrate I don’t know what is) and the winner of their Avocado Ambassador competition.
This was one of the dishes the restaurant served as part of an avocado-inspired breakfast menu and I loved it. I’ve put my own spin on it and made crispy fried eggs in chilli oil instead of poached. This adorns sourdough toast that is covered in slices of avocado, wilted spinach, and pan-fried mushrooms with walnut and rocket pesto. Utterly delicious!
When my name was called out as one of the two winners of the competition my heart leapt out of my chest. I sent my entry through towards the end of last year, so it felt a little in the past.
My prize is a trip to Amsterdam to experience the famous Avocado Show restaurant where avocados are featured in every dish on the menu. I simply cannot wait. I’m such a geek and have already checked the menu and decided what I’m going to order.
We all know avocado toast is the living best thing ever, and it’s no surprise that this simple concept has been blowing up the internet for a while now. Smashed avo on toast with an egg and chilli is probably my favourite everyday simple breakfast, but having all these extra bits makes it even better.
Aside from the pesto, which adds a luxurious treat element; the mushrooms & spinach are all essentially free and could be added to the everyday. I love to have a load of greens with my breakfast. If you don’t have time to wilt the baby spinach, just add it on raw.
My friends, if you haven’t yet experienced the joys of crispy-fried eggs, you are missing out. You simply heat olive oil – or chilli-infused olive oil to almost smoking hot in a nonstick pan and then drop your egg into this. It immediately starts to splatter and the whites bubble up around the egg yolk in a soufflé-like way while the bottom of the egg gets all golden brown and tasty.
This is the Maillard reaction (when protein caramelises) and it’s where the flavour is at. The yolk miraculously stays quite raw – and if you like your yolks runny like I do this is the perfect scenario. That nasty albumin (aka slime) layer around the yolk cooks out, and you get your perfect fried egg. The chilli imparts delicious heat to the egg, but I still like to add a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes or a few drops of my favourite chilli sauce.
If you prefer to poach your eggs but don’t have the time to boil the water and do it the long-winded way, check out my technique to make a 30-second ‘poached egg’ in the microwave.
I made a walnut and rocket pesto as the restaurant did but found it way too bitter so I’m not including the recipe here. Perhaps I should have used regular rocket (arugula) vs wild rocket which has a more pungent taste, but a good store-bought option such as Pesto Princess would be perfect. A sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds finishes this off with a couple of fresh rocket leaves.
I don’t have a recipe for this because you can easily knock this together without one, but these are the elements of the dish from the bottom up:
- Good quality sourdough toast
- Ripe avocado sliced (1/4 – ½ and avo per large slice of toast)
- Wilted baby spinach leaves (cook for about 1 minute)
- Pan-friend brown mushrooms
- Crispy fried egg (or egg cooked any way you like) – see method above
- Rocket pesto or other pesto of your choice
- Sprinkle of chilli flakes or chilli sauce
- Toasted sunflower seeds
- Fresh rocket leaves to serve
A few of my other favourite recipes with AVOCADOS
A few more of my easy egg breakfast ideas