Breakfast Board

Eggs are the quintessential kitchen staple — inexpensive, delicious and packed with protein. So, this month, we’ll be sharing delicious recipes that showcase the versatile egg. First up is a beautiful breakfast board with boiled eggs, crusty bread and salty cheese from Leela Cyd’s new cookbook, Food with Friends. Wouldn’t this be pretty to serve to weekend guests? Here’s how to set it up…

Breakfast Board
By Leela Cyd, author of Food with Friends

I was first introduced to the concept of a breakfast board in Amsterdam about 10 years ago where I stayed with my then boyfriend, now husband. We were served a decadent tray every morning with an array of nibbles and a big pot of tea. Each day started on such a high note.

Now I’ve taken this idea and adapted it — there are pickled items such as olives and shallots, the richness of hard cheese and fresh seasonal fruit. Whenever I make a board, I tweak it depending on the season and my appetite. Sometimes it’s yogurt in place of cheese and a pastry in place of toast. Whatever mood strikes you, it’s all about layering the ingredients on a tray, cutting board or even a dinner plate. If you get stuck with your display, fresh flowers and salt sprinkles will always take it up a notch.

For this one, you’ll need:

2 slices hearty German-style brown bread, cut into triangles
4 slices baguette
1 semi-hard salty cheese, such as Piave Vecchio, Comté, or Gruyère, cut into 8 long spears 1/4 inch thick
4 large cubes of your favorite cheddar cheese
1 soft cheese, such as fresh goat cheese, Boursin, burrata, or even a quality cream cheese
1/2 cup pitted briny green olives
1/2 cup quick pickled shallots
2 types of jam, 1 to 2 tablespoons of each
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
Flaky sea salt
2 large hard-boiled eggs
2 pieces seasonal fruit, cut into slim wedges or bite-size pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

Divide the cut breads and cheeses between the platters. Place the olives and shallots in their own small bowls, and spoon the jams into small vessels (shot glasses are surprisingly lovely here). Smear the butter in a dollop onto the board and sprinkle with a touch of flaky salt. Nestle the hard-boiled eggs and cut fruit onto the board anywhere you think it looks pretty. The presentation can be as natural and wild or contained and orderly as you like. Serve with butter knives and a napkin, along with extra salt and pepper.

Thanks so much, Leela! Your new cookbook is lovely.

P.S. More recipes, including a savory breakfast salad and a guide to the perfect cheese plate.

(Recipe excerpted from Food with Friends by Leela Cyd, published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. This series is edited by Stella Blackmon.)