Breakfast Foods




  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 banana peppers, seeded and thinly sliced or diced (you can use a yellow or red pepper instead)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the peppers and continue cooking until the onions are golden and the peppers are softened, about 5 more minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and much of the juice has evaporated. Add the salt, pepper and chili flakes, and cook another minute. Lower heat to medium.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs in a bowl and whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper and add the feta cheese.
  4. Stir the egg mixture into the cooked vegetables and scramble the eggs until they are just done, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook.
  5. Mix sumac, olive oil, garlic, Greek yogurt and salt in small bowl.
  6. Transfer to plates or shallow bowls or serve right from the pan. Drizzle with sumac yogurt sauce and garnish with parsley. Serve the remaining yogurt sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings


Scrambled Eggs with Fontina, Prosciutto, and Chives


  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs to combine.  Put a fine strainer over another mixing bowl and strain the eggs, making sure that the albumen (the white stringy part) remains in the strainer.  Add the milk salt and pepper to the eggs and stir to combine.
  2. In a medium non-stick saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat.  Add the eggs and with a wooden spoon or high heat plastic spatula, stir continually.  When the eggs begin to curd, keep stirring about 2 to 3 more minutes or until the eggs are very creamy.  Add the cheese and prosciutto and continue cooking until the eggs are still creamy but not dry, or until desired consistency is reached, about 2 to 3 more minutes.  Turn into a shallow bowl and garnish with chives.  Serve immediately.


  • Use a nonstick pan for ease in cooking.
  • You can vary the cheese by substituting cheddar, Swiss or even goat cheese for the fontina.
  • Crispy bacon or pancetta would make a fine substitute for the prosciutto. Remember you need to cook them first and then cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Add sauteed leeks or onions, mushrooms or diced tomatoes instead of the prosciutto for a vegetarian dish.
  • Serve these elegant scrambled eggs with warm homemade muffins and mugs of coffee with steamed milk. A winter fruit salad with grapes, apples, pears and persimmons would be a perfect accompaniment.
  • A video that shows how to make this recipe can be found here.

Serves 2 to 3 people.

Breakfast Egg Crostini


Adapted with permission from “The Bride and Groom Cookbook,” by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford (Chronicle Books, 2003)


  • 4 thick slices nutty whole-grain bread
  • 4 large farm-fresh or organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons best-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh herbs or greens, for garnish
  • Paprika, for garnish, if desired


  1. Toast the bread lightly in a toaster or toaster oven. Arrange open-face on 2 serving plates or a small platter.
  2. Crack the eggs into a medium-size bowl and whisk together to combine yolks and whites completely.
  3. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the beaten eggs all at once, and season with salt and pepper. Immediately lower the heat to medium-low, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or a whisk until the eggs are creamy and just beginning to set into hundreds of little curds. If the eggs look dry and pull away from the pan, you’ve gone too far.
  4. Quickly whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter, immediately pull the pan from the heat, and spoon the eggs directly onto the toasted bread before they set. Garnish with your favorite herbs or greens. Drizzle with your finest olive oil, and finish with freshly ground black pepper or paprika, if desired.


Scrambled eggs can be as soft or as firm as you like. These eggs are about creaminess; you can add a bit of butter to them after they are cooked for extra flavor and texture.

Makes 2 servings.

Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Spiced Pears



Pear Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter for cooking


Pear Topping

  1. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pears and saute for about 5 minutes or until the pears are softened. Add the sugar and continue cooking until the pears are soft and the sauce is slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, orange juice and vanilla, and cook for another minute. Cover and keep warm.


  1. Combine the egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, orange zest and flour in a medium bowl. Whisk until well-combined.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Beat on medium speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  3. Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the ricotta mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites, making sure that no white streaks are left in the batter.
  4. To cook the pancakes, heat a large griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. When melted, pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto griddle. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Add more butter as necessary.
  5. Serve the pancakes immediately with a large dollop of pear topping.


Serve with warm maple syrup. To make this pancake breakfast extra-special, add some crisp bacon and fresh fruit juice.

Serves 4 people.

Pannetone Breakfast Pudding with Eggnog Custard


  • 1½ pound boxes of Pannetone, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes, about 8 cups
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup baking sugar
  • 4 cups eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish


  1. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet a day before preparing the pudding and let rest on the counter overnight or until the bread cubes are dried out.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread in the dish.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolks on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the sugar and beat the mixture until thick and light lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Add the eggnog, reducing the speed to low, and mix to combine. Add the vanilla, pumpkin pie seasoning and nutmeg and mix to combine.
  4. Ladle the custard over the bread. (You may need to use your fingers to evenly distribute the ingredients.) Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next morning remove from the refrigerator and push the bread down with a wooden spoon to make sure the custard is evenly distributed. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the pudding in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Open the oven, using heavy oven mitts and with a large spoon, push the bread down. The remaining liquid custard will rise. Spoon the custard evenly over the bread slices. Bake for about 15-20 more minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out barely clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with Spiced Persimmon Compote, if desired.

Advance Preparation

Must be prepared up to 1 day ahead through step 4, covered and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator ½ hour before baking.

Serves 8 people.