Egg on toast, and much more: Why mayo is out – and dandelion greens are in!

It occurred to me the other day that I had never told you why I don’t use mayo in my sandwiches. Indeed, if you look through my sandwich and panini recipes you’ll find none with mayo, and plenty with sour cream, cottage cheese or mustard. I know mayo is a very popular sandwich ingredient, and for good reason: you need a good creamy component to “bind” everything together and to turn the sandwich into a coherent whole. Still, we find mayo way too heavy and not particularly flavorful, and this is why I’ve been using other ingredients in its place. We’ve always been big fans of sour cream and cottage cheese (both of them lighter than mayo, in our opinion), so why not use these in panini or sandwiches? Moreover, on some occasions, I turn to other less used ingredients and I take advantage of their luscious creaminess to create a satisfying light lunch. Such is the case with the sandwich I am going to write about today, whose creamy component is a fried egg.

This sandwich is special to me because it incorporates a lesser known green element: dandelion greens. My beloved uncle (God rest his soul!) had a vast knowledge of plants, and when I was little he would often urge me and my niece to eat dandelion greens, pointing to the numerous health benefits of this unpopular garden weed. After all these years, I can still remember his words and the tone of his voice when he spoke to us about the “miraculous” dandelions, packed full of vitamins and iron. Back then, I wouldn’t listen to him. Now, I know better – or so I think.

With its bitter and assertive flavor, the troublesome dandelion is an acquired taste for sure. Try it once and see if you like it. The sandwich below may serve as a good introduction 🙂

Ingredients

2 slices toasted rye bread

1/2 cup shredded roast chicken

2 slices cooked bacon

4 slices pepper jack cheese

1/4 red onion, sliced into rings

Handful dandelion greens

About 1 tbsp olive oil

1 egg

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Brush the bread with olive oil. Put 3-4 dandelion greens on top of the bread, on the slice which will make up the bottom of the sandwich. Add two slices of cheese. Also add the bacon, shredded chicken and red onion rings, in this order. Add the remaining slices of cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top. Press the sandwich gently and let it “rest” for a few minutes.

This is how the preparation process looks like:

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Fry the egg while the sandwich is resting. We serve the egg “over easy”  or “over medium” because we like the texture of the egg yolk to be runny. The runnier and creamier, the better!

Serve the egg on top of the sandwich. Cut the sandwich in half if you wish.

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The powerful flavors of the pepper jack cheese and the dandelion greens come together in this sandwich to deliver a lot of assertiveness on the plate, which is toned down by the mild and accommodating presence of the roast chicken and the fried egg. Texture-wise, the onion and the bacon complement the crunchiness of the toasted bread, and the onion itself brings freshness and novelty to the ensemble. This is a sandwich my family enjoys – and I can only hope you’ll like it too 🙂


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