My favorite Saturday morning Farmer’s Market is in Davis, CA., just a short drive from our house. I’ve gotten to know some of the vendors, like the young man with the freshest single crop veggies (most recently English peas), the lovely lady who makes the best jams and marmalade, and the bakery stand folks with their stellar, salted-top rosemary bread. But, let’s not forget the food stands…“Fat Face” food stand makes the best breakfast sandwiches, (not to mention an array of creatively-flavored popsicles, but that’s for another post), and the vegetarian banh-mi is my first choice. It’s built on a perfect breakfast roll, crunchy on the outside, with a soft crumb. The bottom of the roll is spread with mushroom paté, then piled with pickled vegetables. A perfectly cooked egg is added and topped with lots of fresh green herbs, and voila! This is a sandwich that will make your day! I couldn’t find the perfect bread, so I went with a French roll for my sandwich. The mushroom paté is simple to make and very versatile. Once you’ve made your breakfast sandwiches, you can serve the leftover paté with baguette slices, crackers, or crudites.
I spread some spicy mayonnaise on my sandwich, and layered on the pickled vegetables. Then, just like at the Market, I added the egg and fresh cilantro sprigs.
If you make the mushroom paté ahead of time, these sandwiches go together pretty quickly. Pickled vegetables require some simple prep and and a half hour soak in vinegar and sugar. Then you toast the rolls, cook the eggs, and away you go. A hearty and delicious breakfast sandwich is yours to enjoy!
Vegetarian Breakfast Banh-Mi Sandwich
Banh-Mi flavors in a satisfying vegetarian version of the traditional sandwich. Mushroom paté, sunny-side up egg, pickled vegetables, and lots of green herbs, make for a delicious start to your day.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound mushrooms, white button or baby bella, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons brandy or sherry
- 2 teaspoons light miso
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
- 1/2 small seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 French sandwich rolls, split, but not cut apart, and toasted
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, or other hot sauce
- 1 1/2 cups cilantro sprigs
- 4 large eggs, cooked sunny-side up
To make the mushroom paté: over medium heat, melt the butter in a large, wide skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently, without browning, until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the sliced mushrooms and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook the mushrooms until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chopped thyme leaves and the brandy and cook until the brandy is reduced to a glaze.
Cool the mixture slightly, then transfer to a food processor. Pulse the mixture to a coarse puree, then add the miso, cream cheese, and lemon juice. Pulse again to blend, then check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse again to the texture you prefer, slightly coarse or completely smooth. Remove to a medium bowl and set aside, loosely covered.
For the sandwiches: Make the pickled vegetables by mixing the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt. Add the carrot, cucumber, and serrano chili slices to the mixture and let stand for 15-30 minutes. Blend the mayonnaise and the hot sauce together in a small bowl.
To assemble the sandwiches: Spread the bottom half of each roll with a generous amount of mushroom paté. Spread the spicy mayonnaise on the top half of each roll. Drain the vegetables and place an equal portion atop the mushroom paté, followed by a cooked egg, and a portion of the fresh cilantro leaves. Gently close the rolls and serve. Refrigerate the leftover mushroom paté for up to 5 days.
The mushroom paté is adapted from a recipe in the book "Soup and Bread".