A Lenten twist on a pepper-and-egg sandwich

Chicago TribuneMarch 11, 2014 

When is a twist on something so different that it doesn’t resemble the original at all? This might be one of those times.

When Lenten observances demand a meatless meal, the pepper and egg sandwich is a favorite for its fat strips of sauteed green bell pepper nestled into mounds of fluffy scrambled eggs, all tucked into a crusty roll. This sandwich is like the original only in that it has an egg and a bell pepper and there’s bread.

I like focaccia here, but if you don’t have a good source, another crusty bread, maybe a kaiser roll or ciabatta, would work well. One thing the sandwich lacks is some acid. To bring in some acid, I’d toss together a vinegar-dressed slaw to serve alongside.

And then say penance for messing with a classic.

Sandwich with Egg and Pepper

Focaccia, cut to a sandwich-size piece, about 4-by-4 inches

Olive spread, aka olivada or olive tapenade

1/2 roasted red bell pepper, see note

1 fried egg, over hard

1 or 2 slices taleggio cheese (or provolone)

Arugula

SLICE the focaccia in half horizontally. Spread the inside of the top half with olive spread. Place the roasted pepper on bottom half; top with the fried egg, then the cheese. Sprinkle with plenty of arugula leaves. Close with the top half of the focaccia.

Note: To roast peppers, heat the broiler. Arrange the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil; place baking sheet under the broiler, a few inches from the heat. Broil, turning as needed, until peppers are charred on all sides, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a paper bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle; peel off the skin. Seed and core the peppers; slice in half lengthwise.

Yield: 1 sandwich.

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