I mentioned that the first time I ever had Bottarga was on a delicious dish at 'inoteca on the Lower East Side. I attempted to create my own version of this dish for breakfast this morning.
I cut thick slices (about 2 inches thick) of Italian bread, and removed the crusts as the base. And the original dish from 'inoteca is placed atop chopped asparagus. My first thought was to do a gruyere sauce - but my heavy cream didn't do to well and curdled as I was cooking. I'm not sure if it was my fault, or if the cream was bad. Either way, I had a Top Chef moment and decided that some finely chopped mushrooms with home-dried rosemary might compliment everything nicely. And I happened to have some havarti cheese in the fridge, so I sprinkled some of that on top near the end for some additional flavor. The Bottarga on top adds a depth of flavor that transcends a regular breakfast. God I love food!
4 thick slices of bread (your choice, however I did remove the crust)
4 duck eggs (trust me - SO much richer than chicken eggs)
1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup havarti cheese, shredded
Bottarga for grating
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
I used a large saute pan, but this would work on a cookie sheet as well. Using your fingers, pull out the top half of each slide of bread. This creates a little well for the egg to sit in. Pour the melted butter into the pan, spreading evenly. Place the bread slices, well side up, into the pan. Carefully crack each egg and place into each well - don't worry if it spills over. There might be some burned or crispy pieces of egg on the bottom of the pan when the cooking is over, but you can discard those. Sprinkle the top of each egg with a little salt and some pepper. Put in the oven for 15 minutes (or until the whites start to become cooked through).
In a saute pan, drizzle some olive oil. Over medium high heat, throw in the mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt to allow them to start giving up some of their liquid. Cook these for at least 6 minutes really getting them dark and delicious. During the second half of the cook time, add the rosemary.
Once the eggs are beginning to show signs of being cooked through (you want the yoke completely runny, so don't overdo it), sprinkle on the shredded havarti to allow it to melt during the end of the time in the oven. Place two pieces of bread on each plate. Surround the bread with the mushrooms. Grate Bottarga over the eggs, and add a final drizzle of olive oil over each piece of toast.