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Savory toast: braised kale, roasted tomatoes, and soft-boiled eggs

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The Garden of Eating

(Read caption) Start with a crunchy piece of toasted bread, spread with mascarpone cheese, top with roasted tomatoes, braised kale, and a soft-boiled egg.

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Here’s what we have – a thick slice of toasted peasant bread topped by a schmear of creamy mascarpone, a layer of herb and garlic-spiked roasted tomatoes, a heaping of garlicky kale and a rich, perfectly soft-boiled egg topped with a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s hearty and savory and addictive.

The inspiration for this delicious sandwich comes from a similar one that I tried a few months ago at Oriole 9, one of our family’s favorite restaurants here in Woodstock, N.Y. It was so good that I decided to recreate at home. Their version was topped with a poached egg but I don’t have a great way to poach eggs at the moment so I went with a soft-boiled egg instead, with delightful results.

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Roasting is my favorite way to deal with the rag-tag assortment of tomatoes we’re still harvesting from our garden as the season winds down. Simply cut them in half, toss with some minced garlic, some basil, oregano, thyme or rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper and then place them, cut-side-down on a baking sheet and cook at low heat until they reach the desired consistency. I usually do this for a few hours to give them time to fall apart and for the sugars and flavors to get nice and concentrated. Like liquid gold! Then you can either store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later use.

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The kale is similarly simple – just separate the leaves from the ribs and wash to remove any sand, dirt or straw. Then cut or tear the greens into strips. Saute a couple cloves of minced or pressed garlic in oil and then add the greens along with a cup of water or broth. I often add a little vegetable or chicken stock in place of water to give it extra flavor. Cover and simmer on low until the kale is tender.

Mascarpone is an extra creamy Italian-style cream cheese. It makes a nice base layer for all your toppings. Just use regular cream cheese if you can’t get your hands on any mascarpone. Then add a layer of roasted tomatoes, followed by a layer of kale. Don’t skimp, this stuff not only tastes good, it’s also good for you. Finish with the coup de grace, “the eggy,” as my little boys call them. This is your sandwich so prepare the to your liking.

If you don’t feel well and truly fed by this sandwich, I will eat my words.

Hearty Braised Kale, Roasted Tomato on Toast
Serves 1

1 egg, soft boiled or poached (choose pasture-raised if you can)
1 slice peasant or farm bread, toasted
Garlicky braised kale (Follow this recipe, omitting the soy sauce and the tomatoes. You'll find plenty of ways to enjoy the leftovers.)
Roasted tomatoes  (Follow this recipe, making as many as you can get your hands on – they're delicious!)
Mascarpone cheese (or substitute cream cheese)
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. I recommend that you make the kale and the tomatoes ahead of time – both store well and can be used in many other tasty ways. Once you have both those ingredients ready, cook the egg – either soft boiling it or poaching it, to your desired degree of doneness.

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2. While the egg is cooking, toast your bread then spread it with a layer of mascarpone. Top with a layer of roasted tomatoes, a heaping of braised kale and then lay the egg on top. Sprinkle with sea salt and a couple grinds of pepper and tuck in.

Related post on The Garden of Eating: Grandpa Joe’s Eggs on Toast