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Vegtables for Breakfast

by johnnicewick  |  Mar 12, 2012

Vegtables for Breakfast
  1. PREP
  2. 05 m
  • COOK
  • 05 m
  • 10 m

My breakfast salad is composed of cubes of cucumber, pepper, and ripe tomato, topped with ribbons of soft summer greens and finished with a soft-boiled egg and freshly cracked pepper. The vegetables need to be from the farmers’ market or your own garden — ripe, fresh, and high quality. The supermarket will do if you have no better choice, but the flavors in this salad should sing “summertime.”



  • 1/4 cup Cucumber
  • 1/4 Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Mixed Field Greens
  • 1/8 cup Raw Jicama
  • 1/8 cup Tofu
  • 1 Soft Boiled Egg
  • 1/8 medium raw Green-bell Pepper


1 The beauty of the breakfast salad is that most of the dish can be prepared one or two days ahead, refrigerated, and pulled out in the morning. The following recipe makes enough for two salads.
2 In the evening, select a firm cucumber and peel away the skin. Cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Now, cut the cucumber lengthwise into eight equal strips and then cut it into medium dice. Place the diced cucumber into your bowls.
3 Cut one large bell pepper (any color) into a similar-size dice and add it to the bowls. Now dice two ripe summer tomatoes or, if it’s early in the summer, substitute a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, and scoop them into your bowls.
4 Now is the time to add a sprinkle of salt to the vegetables if you like. I add a glug (about a tablespoon) of flaxseed oil to each bowl, but olive oil is also a good choice to moisten the vegetables and add a little fat. Then a drizzle of mild rice-wine vinegar, not too much — remember, this is for breakfast. Toss the diced vegetables with a spoon.
5 Next, add a handful of greens torn into bite-sized pieces — purslane is a summer favorite of mine, as is watercress or peppercress. Miner’s lettuce or lamb’s quarters are both tasty additions sometimes found at the farmers’ market. Shredded lettuce leaves are also good. Do not toss the greens with the vegetables yet, because the oil and vinegar will wilt the leaves.
6 On top, I crumble a little soft goat cheese. I am partial to the Port Madison goat cheese from my local goat farm. It smells as mild and milky as a newborn baby’s breath, so it’s perfect for morning. Any chèvre will taste good, as would a whole-milk ricotta.
7 Finally, I sprinkle a tablespoon of roasted sunflower seeds over everything. Then I refrigerate the salad overnight so it’s ready when I wake up in the morning.
8 In the morning, I take a salad out of the fridge while I make my morning tea. I bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop one large farm-fresh egg into the water. I like my soft-boiled eggs to have cooked whites and slightly goopy yolks, so I set the timer for eight minutes. When the egg is cooked, drain the hot water and peel away the shell under cool running water.
9 Plop the egg on top of the salad, cut it in half with your fork so the yolk can ooze out a little, and add a grind of black pepper. Then toss it all together and enjoy.