Caramelized Onion and Cream Cheese Toast with Runny Eggs

Toast seems to be having a moment, and I am here for it.  It’s about time it got some appreciation, really.  A typical food day for me is metaphorically sandwiched between two pieces of toast – a buttered slice with runny eggs for breakfast and a piece (or two) with homemade jam and butter for dessert or that “I just want a little something else” after dinner.

I never quite got on the avocado toast train.  It’s ok, but it’s what I ate for a week after I got my wisdom teeth out.  It’s a little boring, really. But what avocado did do for toast is remind us that there are all kinds of savory things we can smear on it. 

This concoction, like all the best concoctions, was made from necessity and desperation to find something good for breakfast.  I don’t remember for sure, but it probably went something like this:

Me, laying in bed on a Saturday morning:  “Ooh, there’s a bagel downstairs! That’s worth getting out of bed for!”

Me, searching the entire kitchen for said bagel: “I know it’s here somewhere!”

Me, looking defeated and realizing the hubs probably already ate it:  “Damnit, David!”

However it went down, I know I was about to settle for my usual runny eggs and toast, but then had an idea – take the best parts of runny eggs and toast, and an onion bagel with cream cheese and *poof* – Caramelized Onion and Cream Cheese Toast with Runny Eggs.

I like this with literally any kind of toast and cream cheese.  Pictured is some good Tuscan bread that I buttered and toasted in the pan as the onions finished, but I have done this with a slice of Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal or 12-Grain in the toaster, as well.  Here I just used plain Philly cream cheese, but veggie or salmon would be good, too. 

The time consuming part is caramelizing the onion, and honestly, if I don’t feel like hanging out in the kitchen in the morning, I just fry them up a bit and they are fine.  But when I want to put the time in, I get the onion in the pan right away and then take some time making a pour-over before starting my toast and eggs.

And here you have it.  It’s barely a recipe.  It’s toast, for crying out loud.  But it’s delicious.

Caramelized Onion and Cream Cheese Toast with Runny Eggs

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 tbs butter

2 slices of bread, toasted in a toaster or in the pan

Salt and pepper

Cream cheese (about an ounce, but who am I to tell you how much cream cheese to put on your toast?)

2 eggs

Optional:  something green (chives, parsley, thyme, dill) and/or something spicy (chili crunch, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, gochujang, sriracha)

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. (Or, if you want to make your toast at the same time, use a larger skillet).  Add the onions.  Once the onions start to become transparent, add salt and pepper.  Continue to cook low and slow, adding a pat of butter, a drizzle of olive oil, or a tablespoon of water if the onions become dried out.  A good caramelization can take 15-20 minutes, so be patient. (Or don’t and just fry them up in the butter – I promise it will still be good).  As the onions are close to finishing, push them to one side.  You can use the rest of the pan to toast your bread and cook your eggs over easy (or to your liking).

When the onions are finished, spread cream cheese to your liking on the toast and top with the caramelized onions.  You can stop here if you want – this alone makes a delicious snack or breakfast.  Or add your over easy egg to each slice.  Sprinkle on any optional add-ons and enjoy.

Why Gooseberries and Beans?

My food journey is a little bit nostalgia and a little bit adventure. It’s a little bit of the things I took for granted and a little bit of finally being courageous to try something new.

Gooseberries and beans are both of these things for me.

On my grandparents’ farm as a kid, summers were waiting for the first gooseberries to ripen on the bush behind their house, and indulging in the sweet-tart pop of the berry in my mouth while I helped Grandma hang sheets on the clothesline. Summers were sitting on the porch, or at the picnic table in the shade, snapping green beans for canning. Green beans are still my favorite fresh garden vegetable.

Because of this, when I bought a house with my husband, I insisted we plant a gooseberry bush in the front yard and a small summer garden in the back. That gooseberry bush has produced a bounty of gooseberries for the past several years, but gooseberry recipes are in short supply in the US. This became a turning point for me, when I realized I had the confidence in my cooking and baking abilities to experiment and create my own recipes.

And beans seem to show up in all the best food experiences. My husband’s chili. Making my own hummus for the first time. Eating my first chana masala. The jelly beans my now-husband brought me on our first date. And of course the best beans – fresh ground coffee beans.

Maybe something here will spark some nostalgia for you, too. Maybe it will make you brave to try something new. Maybe it will help you find confidence in the kitchen or teach you something new. I hope this blog feeds all of those hungers and more.