A luxurious breakfast for two does not have to mean fancy sauces and lots of planning. Long ago, sitting on an elegant bed in Bruges, I learned beauty and romance need only the simplest accoutrements. On a marble platter my first love brought breakfast to the room we shared. He had left early to explore the city and find an english language paper. He returned to find the mistress of our pensione preparing breakfast in the morning room and quickly charmed her into something he could take away.
Very often breakfast in Belgium is served continental style. Breads, cheeses, and jams fill the table. Often day old bread is prepared much like the way we might do garlic bread. This recipe can be both savory and or sweet. That morning we tried it with an egg, a slice of ham, dollop of goat cheese, on it's own and topped with honey and berries. It was a perfect feast, seductive and satisfying in it's simplicity.
- 1 loaf French bread or Italian bread (or 2 smaller loaves)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (Earth Balance (soy butter))
- 1/4 cup goat cheese or cream cheese
- 2 tsp finely chopped minced garlic (optional)
- 2 tbsp Fines Herbs(optional)
- 1 pinch salt (optional)
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 3 slices of cured meat (such as ham)
- poached or hard boiled eggs (optional)
- A drizzle of Local Honey(optional)
- Fresh Fruit (optional)
- Your favorite Jam (optional)
For savory breads; mix together the butter, garlic, Fines Herbs, salt, and pepper well. Spread approximately 1 to 2 tsp of the garlic mixture in between each cut.
If you want to stay away from those savory flavors completely, butter between each cut.
Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and bake about 10 minutes. When the bread is properly toasted, remove from the oven. Slice each cut all the way through. Top with cheese, cured meats, eggs, fruit, honey, jam; whatever tickles your fancy. Serve immediately.
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Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini