Birds in a Nest with Peppers and Sausage

Serve this beautifully balanced breakfast or brunch for Mother’s Day. It’s also a great late-night Sunday supper.


  • 1 large red cubanelle frying pepper or red bell pepper
  • 1 small red chili pepper, such as Fresno, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling, divided
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 5-6 cups arugula
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 4 slices (1-inch-thick round) peasant bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
  • 4 eggs


Pre-heat the broiler. Broil the frying pepper (or bell pepper) on a broiler pan, turning occasionally, until blackened all over (alternatively, char over a gas flame on the stovetop). Transfer to a bowl, cover and let cool for a couple of minutes, then peel away charred skin. Slice the peppers.

In a bowl, combine the chopped chili pepper and vinegar. Season with salt.

In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Form the sausage meat into four thin patties and cook through in the skillet, turning once, 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet and reserve.

In a large bowl, dress the arugula with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons EVOO; season with salt and pepper. Top with the cheese.

Cut a 1 1/2-inch hole in the center of the bread slices. In the reserved skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO and the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute; discard the garlic. Add the bread; season with salt. Fry until golden, then flip.

Crack an egg into each bread hole. Top with a few drops of the chili vinegar and a few slices of roasted pepper strapped across the raw eggs. Loosely cover the pan with foil to set the eggs, about 1 minute. Flip the toast again and cook for 1 minute, then flip back, pepper side up.

To serve, slide the egg toasts onto plates. Serve with a sausage patty and the arugula salad.

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