E.A.T–Egg, avocado, tomato… Three things I haven’t been able to enjoy for a while now. I’m at the tail end of a month-long break from a chemo drug that made me lose a crazy amount of weight, and decreased my appetite and tolerance for many of the foods I love–you can imagine how hard this has been based on my clear obsession with food. Right now, food tastes absolutely magical. Every time I eat, I feel like I’m in some sort of kaleidoscopic hippie dream. Whoa man, these flavors are for real! A month ago, I got down to my lowest weight ever (not a good thing), and I keep a chipper face, because whatever the “normal” of the hour happens to be, I’m going to make it the best damn normal I can. I’m nervous to be off the medication that has helped me so much, but all I can really worry about is right now; and right now my job is to eat, be, and enjoy the technicolor tastes of all my long lost food friends.
I eat like Van Gogh painted; crazed and unapologetic, making up for lost time. I’m eating for my life and my health, to add some extra strength and pounds. My soft-coated wheaten terrier has felt the inconvenience of my increased food intolerances. She looked on eagerly as I prepared her favorite food, which she hadn’t eaten in a very long time. Luca, today is a special day, I told her as I fried up the egg with some cracked pepper and fresh thyme. I found some positively juicy heirloom tomatoes, and layered it all up on toast slathered with sundried tomato aioli, with buttery sliced avocado, fresh arugula, salt, pepper, the egg of course, and a drizzle of tuscan olive oil given to me for my birthday.
I crunched through the bread, and when the combination of tomato juices, peppery olive oil, and egg yolk hit my mouth, it got audible. Hunched over my counter top, I mumbled expletives between bites, messily devouring in my exploded kitchen (maniacs don’t have time to clean as they go). Luca looked up at the spectacle, waiting expectantly for me to sprinkle a few bits of egg on top of the uneaten food in her dog bowl. We both ate voraciously, and gratefully. I don’t know what will happen when I go on my new medication. I don’t have to care about that right now. Right now, food is my hot crush and psychedelic escapade, and I’m going on an unapologetic magic carpet ride.
You can swap ingredients to fit your dietary needs of the moment–use gluten-free bread, or just serve it right on top of the greens like a salad. You want some cheese? Slap on some white cheddar, vegan cheese, or whatever will give you your technicolor egg sandwich experience. You may customize to your heart’s desire, but promise me this: You will eat this E.A.T sandwich voraciously and unapologetically, as if rediscovering something you’ve gone years without. Knowing that will make my day!
E.A.T Sandwiches with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
This recipe can be customized as you wish, and easily scaled up. The aioli is easier to blend when made in a larger quantity, and will keep for about a week in the fridge. It can be used for sandwiches and wraps, or my favorite, on this rosemary tortilla española. If you’d like to make less, chop and smash the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and salt into a paste and mix it by hand into the mayonnaise. It will not be as smooth or deeply colored, but will still taste delicious!
For the aioli:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo
- 3 TB finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or sherry vinegar if you have on hand
For the sandwiches:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large egg
- leaves from a few sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
- salt and freshly cracked pepper
- sliced tomato
- sliced avocado
- baby arugula/baby spinach mix, or your choice of greens
- 2 slices sprouted grain bread, or your favorite sandwich bread
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Make the aioli: Blend all aioli ingredients in an immersion blender, blender, or small food processor until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar to taste.
- Cook the egg: Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle a bit of salt, and pepper onto the pan, then crack the egg on top. Sprinkle the top with the thyme, and a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes for over-easy, or 5-6 minutes for over-medium.
- While the egg is cooking, toast the bread. Spread the aioli on the toast, then layer the avocado, tomato on one side, and the arugula-spinach mix on the other. Drizzle the olive oil over the greens, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fried egg on the bread, and serve while hot.