For some reason I've always struggled with breakfast. Never really being a fan of sickly sweet cereals first thing in the morning - with the execption of Fruity Pebbles or Lucky Charms when I was 7 - I'm that person who will reach for the day-old cold spaghetti or the piece of grilled salmon my youngest daughter refused to eat for dinner the evening before.
As of late, my go-to breakfast has been a fried egg on wheat toast with Tabasco sauce. Every single day for six months. I'm retiring the egg, but keeping the toast.
Looking for inspiration I headed to Bi-Rite Market, a San Francisco favorite for locally sourced produce and meats.
Here's what ended up in my basket:
- Sheep's milk ricotta
- Fresh figs
- Micro greens
- A loaf of molasses oatmeal bread
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- One bottle of California-made citrus vodka (that's for later in the evening)
With the exception of the vodka and gum, I put together what I think is a spectacular piece of toast that has put my egg and Tabasco to shame.
Grilled figs are my favorite, and can be prepared a day ahead using an outdoor grill or a grill pan on the stove. However, any fruit of your choice will suffice, caramelized pears, apples or even your favorite jam. This "toast" is fantastic any time of the day, an afternoon nibble with tea or an evening snack with a glass of dry white wine.
BALSAMIC GRILLED FIGS ON LEMON-RICOTTA TOAST
- 1 cup fresh sheep's milk ricotta cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- 6 fresh figs, halved
- coconut oil spray
- 3 tbs aged balsamic vinegar
- 4, 1" thick slices of wheat bread, toasted
- 1 cup micro-greens
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- drizzle of honey (optional)
Combine ricotta cheese and lemon zest and let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium high, brush figs with 1 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar, then spray with a bit of coconut oil to prevent them from sticking. Grill until caramelized, about 1 minute per side.
Toast bread and top with ricotta cheese, micro-greens, grilled figs and salt & pepper to taste. Top with remaining balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of honey for a touch more sweetness if desired.