Make this Now: Savory French Toast with Garlic and Parmesan

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Part garlic bread, part French toast, this savory breakfast gets a hit of red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A couple weeks ago when we were driving through Austin, we stayed with a friend who said that his go-to weekday breakfast is savory French toast. Wait, what? I asked him. Am I the only person in the world who's never had savory French toast? Apparently so.

That was a situation that would be quickly remedied. I've always loved the process of making french toast, but I'm not much of a sweets-eater, particularly at breakfast time. Thus, I can now say that I've officially got a new easy breakfast for those days when I just don't feel like putting in the effort to make hollandaise (even if it only takes two minutes).

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Part garlic bread, part French toast, I start by whisking together eggs and mill with my basic flavorings: parsley, garlic, and Parmesan, along with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

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The bread we used came from Sour Flour and was leftover after our San Francisco Sourdough Bread Taste Test. Day old bread is ideal for this.

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I love that feeling of custard slowly soaking into hard dry bread and softening it up.

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I give mine an extra-savory twist by dredging it in grated Parmesan cheese before frying it, just like we do with our Crisp Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

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Ready for the pan. You can adjust how much custard you soak up by leaving it in the bowl for a longer or shorter time. The longer you go, the creamier and more custardy it'll end up.

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Butter (and plenty of it) is the only way to go for French toast. I melt mine in a cast iron skillet (non-stick will do just fine).

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I love that slow sizzle as the eggs gently brown in the butter. The key here is to go low and slow so you get some nice, even, golden-brown coloring.

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Looking good...

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And there we go! I served it with sliced scallions and parsley on top, along with some good olive oil at the table, some leftover corn and radish salad, and some avocado slices. If I may be so bold, it's a lot of fun to let the avocado go sunbathing on top of the French toast before you dig in.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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