This recipe is adapted from the Feasting at Home blog with permission from Sylvia Fontaine, PNW Chef & 2018 Saveur Blog Awards Finalist.
The Tuscan Farmers Breakfast is tasty and incredibly simple. Made with a delicious stew of cannellini beans, tomatoes, and aromatics then topped with eggs and gremolata, this perfect-for-camping breakfast is surprisingly easy and incredibly satisfying. Think of it as a gourmet Sunday brunch for car campers.
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ an onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, sage or thyme ( or sub 1½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning)
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire roasted are nice) or sub 2 medium tomatoes, diced with their juices
- 1 14.5-ounce can cannellini beans or white beans ( or 1½–2 cups cooked), rinsed and drained
- 1 cup stock or broth ( or water plus 1 bouillon cube) either chicken or veggie
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes, more to taste
- 4–6 eggs
*Optional but highly recommended: Serve with crusty bread, a spoonful of gremolata, and bacon crumbles.
Prep your campfire for cast iron cooking. Remember, successful open fire cooking is all about knowing when your fire is ready. Too early, and you scorch your food. Too late, and your food will cook too slowly or not at all. How do you know that your fire is ready? Study the coals. Once they begin turning grey you're good to go. We suggest placing an adjustable steel grid like this one over your coals for easier cooking.
In a 10-11 inch skillet, heat the oil, saute the onions for 3-5 minutes, and then add the garlic. Saute until fragrant and golden, stirring often for about 3 more minutes. Be sure to periodically adjust your coals and the position of your skillet so that you are sauteing, not scorching. Once the onion is tender, add the herbs and cook 1-2 more minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, beans, and stock. Add salt and chili flakes and bring to a simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
Make little wells in the beans and crack the eggs into them. Season each egg with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh Italian parsley and a spoonful of flavorful Gremolata.
- Assuming you have hot coals in your fire, from start to finish the entire dish takes about 30 minutes. You can make it in 10 minutes if you prep the stew at home, store it in your cooler, and then add the eggs as you warm the stew over the fire.
- It's possible to go without the gremolata but gremolata so good and easy to make we don't recommend it. Just prep the gremolata at home and store it in your cooler (It keeps for 7-10 days, and it only takes about 5 minutes to make). Gremolata also happens to be delicious on chicken and fish, so you can use it again with dinner as well. Everyone will thank you.
- As noted earlier, we highly recommend embellishing the dish with bacon crumbles. Of course there are other options too. Sylvia suggests trying Italian sausage or Spanish-style chorizo with a dash of smoked paprika.
- Sylvia recommends serving the dish in small individual skillets, which creates more clean up, but improves the presentation and allows everyone to season and add accompaniments to their liking. If you eat with your eyes, you'll enjoy individual skillets. If you prefer simple clean up, go with the single skillet option.
- For the photos, Sylvia poached the eggs separately, which you can also do. However, it's more campground friendly and no less delicious if you simply crack the eggs directly into the stew.
After trying this dish, we guarantee you'll want to explore other recipes from Sylvia's blog, Feasting at Home. She loves cast iron cooking and many of her recipes can be easily adapted to open fire cooking.