For the longest time now, my husband Tom has been treating me to the pleasure of breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day. In the beginning it was fairly standard fare based on whatever we had available in the kitchen at the time and whatever he was in the mood to make. Eventually that changed and savory French toast is the reason why. One beautiful Saturday in early May several years ago, I decided to go to first of the season Greenville Saturday Market. It’s a wonderful event that takes place in downtown Greenville, SC from May through October where a few blocks of Main Street are blocked off from 8 in the morning until noon, and local farmers and artisans set up an array of goods that would give pleasure to any foodie. On that particular Saturday I had picked up some farm fresh eggs, strawberries and a loaf from the Great Harvest Bread Co. The loaf was called Popeye Bread. Popeye bread contains spinach, red bell pepper and Parmesan cheese. I didn’t think much about what I was going to do with it, it was just something that I just had to take home with me that day.

The next morning I was surprised by what Tom had cooked up for me in the best possible way. That morning he was inspired by the items I had brought home from the market and prepared a French toast from the Popeye bread and served it with a side of the fresh strawberries. The French toast was amazing and the true revelation was how well it paired with the strawberries. Hence a tradition was born. I would go to the market on Saturday and Tom would make a delicious breakfast in bed for me on Mother’s Day, always now consisting of a savory French toast. On a few occasions I haven’t been early or lucky enough to score the Popeye bread, but we have found that nearly any bread with the exception of rye bread works for this recipe. Rosemary and garlic bread is an especially delicious version and the version I have chosen to make today.

Savory French Toast

  • 4 slices of bread (spinach and cheese or herb bread suggested)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 TBSP butter

Beat eggs along with salt and pepper in a bowl wide enough to easily dip bread. Place a large griddle or frying pan on medium to medium high heat. Place butter in pan and distribute to coat pan or griddle evenly. Dip each piece of bread into egg coating each side evenly. Place bread on griddle for 1 to 3 minutes turning once the first side has turned a golden brown color. The second side will cook faster than the first. Makes 2 servings.

So the next time you think about French toast with all its layers of cinnamon, powdered sugar, syrups and whipped cream, step back for a minute and consider a savory version. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

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