As someone who spent the first 20 years of her life hating eggs, my childhood and adolescence and even college years were remarkably devoid of the incredible edible embryo. There were no scrambled eggs next to my peanut butter toast as a child, and while I regularly partook in the Easter ritual of dying hard boiled eggs, I wouldn't touch them once they hit the brunch table.
Perhaps even more disturbing, however, is my lack of exposure to the fried egg sandwich - an item that almost everyone has encountered in some form whether it be the Egg McMuffin at McDonald's or a drippy, bacon-laced concoction from a local greasy spoon diner. During my pre-egg eating years, I was appalled by all the people at the airport who would arrive at the gate for an early-morning flight with Egg McMuffins and hash browns in tow. I'd gag over the stench of the microwaved eggs and oil-saturated hash browns, and wonder how anyone could eat something so repulsive that early in the morning.
What I didn't realize then -- and am actually just realizing now -- is that fried egg sandwiches are the Holy Grail on a breakfast menu, and they're even better when eaten for lunch. Served on toasted bread with the appropriate fixings, the egg sandwich is the perfect cross-over item to marry together the two meals. So much so that I've kind of become obsessed with them. Or, more accurately, obsessed with the version I've come up with using the Rockenwagner pretzel rolls I pick up on Sundays at the Brentwood Farmers' Market.
I've always been an obsessive salter when it comes to my eggs, so in my mind, a pretzel roll is the perfect vehicle for transporting a fried egg into my vessel. To counter the salty kick, I've taken to spreading one of the toasted sides with goat cheese and then layering sauteed spinach and caramelized shallots on top of the fried egg. The simple ingredients meld together perfectly, curing both my hunger and my craving for a slightly debaucherous lunch. I always eat it way faster than I should. I always drip and spill stray onions and spinach onto my plate. And I always finish it, thinking, "I can't believe I wasted 24 year of my life not eating these."
Fried Egg Sandwich on a Pretzel Roll
1 pretzel roll
1 shallot, sliced into thin rings
Handful of spinach
Salt, pepper to taste
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the shallots, reduce heat and saute until tender and translucent (approximately 10 minutes). Add the balsamic vinegar and spinach and continue sauteing until spinach is wilted and liquid has evaporated. Set aside on a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid.
Slice pretzel roll in half, and toast halves in oven until warm and just toasted. Remove, smear one side with goat cheese, and then place back in the oven while preparing egg.
Wipe the nonstick pan clean and then reheat to medium-high heat. Add pat of butter and then fry egg according to preference adding salt and pepper as desired. Place egg on non-goat cheese side of roll, top with spinach and shallots, then cover with top of roll. Eat immediately.