When I was living in France after college, I taught at two different elementary schools in a town just outside of Paris. One of the schools was just down the street from one of the neighborhood boulangeries and had the best baguettes and baked goods. Teachers would always buy chouquettes or pain au chocolat in the mornings and bring them to the salle des maitres for us to devour throughout the day.
The boulangerie was always busy and I remember the women working there being quite cold to me the first few times I visited. One day every week on either Tuesday or Thursday I would go there for lunch and buy one of their baguette sandwiches. Slowly they started to recognize and warm up to me. It felt like such a personal victory the first time I came in, and they greeted me warmly and anticipated my order. Being accepted at the neighborhood bakery felt symbolic of being accepted in France in general.
They had dozens of different sandwiches combinations showcased on their beautiful baguettes, but my favorite was the pesto mozzarella sandwich with roasted tomatoes. This breakfast sandwich is a tribute to that little slice of community I found in France.
Obviously the success of this breakfast sandwich, in its simplicity, lies in the ingredients. Particularly you have to make sure the baguette is the best you can find (if you live in Nashville, Dozen Bakery does not disappoint), the pesto I prefer to be homemade, and the mozzarella definitely has to be fresh.
Pesto Breakfast Sandwich:
- ¼ cup basil pesto
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella
- Two slices of prosciutto
- 2 eggs, fried
To start, heat a skillet over medium low heat. Spray with olive oil and crack the eggs into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook three minutes on each side flipping halfway through or to the doneness you prefer.
While the eggs cook, cut your baguette into sandwich sized portions and cut those portions in half lengthwise to toast. Once the baguette is toasted, spread the pesto on both halves. Add sliced mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes and prosciutto. Top with the fried egg and put your sandwich halves together. Serve with strong coffee and pretend like you are in France!