RECIPE

Savory French Toast with Homemade Sausage Patties and Warm Honey, Strawberries and Basil

Host a festive brunch and serve this extra-special breakfast: Parmigiano Reggiano-flavored French toast, homemade sausage patties and fresh basil strawberries.

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup whole milk or cream
  • 1/2-2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground sage or rubbed sage (half a palmful)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fennel seed (half a palmful)
  • 3 pinches ground cloves or ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 8 thick-cut slices good-quality white bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups strawberries, halved or sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Good-quality honey of your favorite variety, for liberal drizzling

Preparation

Pre-heat the griddle to medium.

In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

In a medium size bowl, add the pork, sage, onion, garlic, fennel seed, cloves, lots of black pepper and salt, to taste, and mix to combine. Divide the mixture into four portions and form each portion into two small patties, about 2 1/2-inches wide. Heat the EVOO in large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Turn off the heat and keep warm in the pan.

Wipe the hot griddle with butter nested in a paper towel. Soak the bread, a few slices at a time, in the milk mixture, shaking off the excess. Add the bread to the griddle and cook until toasted, crispy and golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Cook in batches, if necessary.

While the bread toasts, combine the strawberries, basil and sugar in a medium size bowl.

Halve the toast from corner to corner. Serve the toast on individual plates layered with sausage patties, a liberal drizzle of honey and the berries with basil.

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