When I lived in San Diego, I used to meet up with my friend and fellow Navy wife, Karen, at this bar and grill. For the life of me, I can NOT remember the name of the place (I think it had something to do with panning for gold…) but the place was great for two lonely gals with husbands that were always deployed. The dim lights and casual atmosphere made for an ideal spot to pine for ones husband. We would sit and sip drinks, eat zucchini fries, and talk for hours. One of my favorite things to order was a Caprese kind of tomato stack. Incredible heirloom tomatoes, alternating with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella, piled high on a plate like some kind of Jenga tower, and then generously drizzled with a balsamic reduction, olive oil, and finished with salt and pepper. Out. STANDing. I had to eat it with a knife and fork and often just ordered it as my dinner.
I love food memories like that. Something that makes me think of a specific time and place, and in addition, the way I felt at that specific time and place. Its a powerful thing when food makes us recall tastes, smells, feelings. One of my favorite things, actually. I feel certain that I could fill a book with the emotions and memories of certain foods and dishes and the life experiences connected to them!
It was those same memories that triggered this breakfast one day. I was thinking about this open-faced Tuna Melt because it sounded so good, but figured I couldn’t get my family eat it for breakfast. A whole meal of tomatoes sounded good as well, but I wanted the fresh mozzarella to complete the craving and didn’t happen to have any on hand. I really wanted something open faced and stacked like those glorious tomato towers and so, these stackers were born. I know you could obviously change up the ingredients, but for some reason, we never do. We found what works and are sticking with it!
Honestly, I think it is the textures of these ingredients that make this breakfast so appealing. You can’t eat it with your hands so you cut into it with a knife, resulting in forkfuls of cool and sweet tomatoes, spinach that is light and fresh, salty bacon, hearty bread, creamy eggs, and the bite of parmesan that seems to bring the party of tastes home with a pow. It really is the perfect breakfast, layered with all the components needed for maximum satisfaction. My kids love to build theirs and it is an easy way to serve something a little different to guest without going to too much trouble.
1 slice of whole grain bread of your choice, toasted and dry, with no butter or spread
handful of fresh baby spinach
two slices of tomato
2 slices of thick cut bacon
2 eggs, fried or poached to personal preference
large pinch of shredded parmesan
salt and pepper
Place the toast on the plate first, then the spinach, and then the tomatoes. Salt and pepper the tomatoes because OH MOMMA does it bring out the flavor of them! Next the bacon, and then the eggs, and finish with the parmesan cheese and more pepper. I don’t like to salt the eggs at the end as the cheese is already salty, but do what you like! Enjoy!