Sabich Style Breakfast Sandwiches

Breakfast sandwiches are one of my favorite foods in the world. I've documented my love of these delightful morning treats in the past, but I had gotten to a point where I thought I'd seen and experienced everything a breakfast sandwich had to offer. Bacon, egg, and cheese, one some sort of bread. Essentially, that's all any and every breakfast sandwich has to offer, right? Wrong! 

Sabich (pronounced Sah-beek) is a traditional Israeli breakfast sandwich, generally consisting of fried egg plant, sliced hard boiled eggs, Israeli salad, hummus, and tahini, inside of a pita. "Well, that's certainly something I haven't seen before," I thought to myself as I stumbled across an article on the odd but intriguing sandwich. Maybe I've been focusing too much on innovation in my search for a new breakfast sandwich, looking forward into the future, when instead, I should have been looking backwards, at tradition and old world countries.

As luck would have it, I managed to find a place in San Francisco where I could find a Sabich sandwich, and it happened to be one of my favorite new Mediterranean joints, that I had been drying to go back to. The sandwich was more or less what I thought it would be, but was simultaneously so much more than any breakfast sandwich I could have dreamed of. The eggplant and hard-boiled egg duo was creamy, rich, and smooth. There was a delightful crunch from the Israeli salad, and the familiar comforting flavors of hummus and tahini made for an excellent sandwich. I can't say it really felt like a breakfast sandwich, but damn, it was good. And the best part, is that the sandwich also played right in to my biggest pet peeve when it comes to breakfast in general, which is a disappointing lack of veggies! Finally, a breakfast sandwich with some real nutrition, to help start the day off right!

This Sabich style breakfast sandwich has got it all. Simplified, and served on a classic English muffin to help give it that comforting breakfast sandwich feel, this sandwich has got it going on. Roasted eggplant and hard-boiled eggs provide a hearty base, with thin sliced of crunchy veggies, and the all-might avocado to give it that classic "California" feel. A little harissa paste adds a spicy kick, with fresh veggies helping to cool and tame the mild heat. A little hummus to boost the protein and make it extra filling, and you've got a breakfast sandwich that you can actually feel good about eating in the morning. Bon apetit!

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Sabich-Style Breakfast Sandwiches 

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2" rounds

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive-oil

4 large eggs

4 English muffins, lightly toasted

1/2 cup prepared hummus

2 tbsp harissa paste

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup thinly sliced cucumber

1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and roast until golden brown and soft, about 20-25 minutes.

  2. Put eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let sit for 8-10 minutes. Drain water, and add cold water with a few ice cubes to chill. Let sit for 5 more minutes, then peel and thinly slice each egg.

  3. Spread 2 slices of bread with equal amount of hummus, and spread equal amounts of harissa on other 2 slices of bread.

  4. Starting from the slices of bread with hummus, layer slices of eggplant, eggs, cucumber, onion, and avocado, and top with remaining slices of bread.

Tips:

  • Harissa can be substituted with your favorite hot sauce

  • Pita is the traditional bread for this sandwich, but I just hate being confined by those tiny pockets. I like to pile my sandwiches up high, so I went with something less confining

Ben Mastracco