A Fresh Garden Breakfast with Taylor Chambers

Words by Ashley Bowling   Photos by Eric Morales

The inspiration for the recipe this month came from the freshest of food ideas—to take what we have in the house (or backyard even) and make it into something beautiful and delicious. Plus Chef Taylor is getting tired of consuming breakfast tacos every morning. Nowadays, if he’s eating a breakfast taco, it’s without eggs because according to Taylor, “he’s over it.” He elaborates, “If you’re eating a taco before noon, then it’s a breakfast taco, regardless of what’s inside.”

Taylor and his new bride have been getting fresh food from Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) here in east Austin. JBG delivers a box of fresh organic produce and eggs every week. Taylor explains, “Since we work a lot, it’s very convenient. Then I have to try and figure out how to use it all over the next two weeks.” That’s what inspired this unique, super-simple recipe as a breakfast alternative to the default breakfast tacos that we all are accustomed to.


10 guajillo peppers
2 morita peppers
2 large tomatoes, largely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 t. oregano
1 t. cumin
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste

De-seed the peppers and toast in a pan on medium heat until peppers start to smoke. Remove from heat and cover with hot tap water. Soak until soft. In the meantime, roast tomatoes over medium heat until skin starts to turn brown. Add garlic to pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove garlic then toast oregano and cumin for a minute or so. Grind the spices into a fine powder. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Pass the salsa through a strainer to smooth. Season to taste with salt.

Steamed Chickpea Breakfast Salad

Serves 4

2 c. steamed chickpeas
3 slices of bacon
2 c. broccolini, bite-sized pieces
3 c. kale, stems removed and torn to bite sized portions (sub any hearty dark green)
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. apple cider vinegar
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
radish thinly sliced
red onion thinly sliced

Directions for Steamed Chickpeas:
To make these, you will need raw chickpeas that have been soaked overnight in water. Go ahead and make the whole bag and save what doesn’t get steamed to make hummus or falafel. You can also leave the left over chickpeas in a container out of the sunlight, covered with a moist paper towel to sprout them and make a super food.

Using a colander and a large pot of water, steam the chickpeas for about one hour or until they are soft but not mushy. These can be made a few days ahead of time or the night before. A can of chickpeas may be substituted but will alter the taste a bit.

Directions for Breakfast Salad:
Begin to heat water on stove in a medium sized pot to a simmer for the poached eggs, which will come last. Cook bacon in a large skillet to desired crispness. Remove bacon, place on a paper towel, and chop when cooled. Use the rendered fat of the bacon to sauté the broccolini. Place broccolini in skillet, then be sure to leave the broccolini alone and don’t rush to stir; this will allow for some good color. (For all vegetables, wait about 60 seconds until stirring to achieve a nice char.) Cover the broccolini for 2 minutes to let it steam. While broccolini is cooking, remove stems from the kale and tear into smaller pieces. Remove broccolini from the skillet and add the steamed chickpeas. Add a little more fat to the pan if it seems a bit dry. (Butter or coconut oil is a good substitute for bacon fat.) Cook chickpeas for 2 minutes until some nice color is achieved. Add the sliced tomatoes in with the chickpeas and season with salt. Once the tomatoes start to break down, add in kale. Splash the veggies with apple cider vinegar and a bit of water to help wilt the greens. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove lid and cook for about 2 minutes more. Reduce heat, add cooked broccolini, bacon and salt & pepper to taste. Keep at a low simmer while poaching the eggs.

Poaching Eggs:
Poaching eggs is not as daunting of a task as one may think. It’s as simple as it gets, really.

Once water is boiling, turn heat down until it’s at a simmer. Working one egg at a time, crack them into a small bowl and then slide the egg into the water leaving it alone and letting it do its thing in the water. Do this with the remaining eggs being sure not to stack the eggs on top of one another. Cook eggs for 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to pull an egg out of the water to check the firmness of the yolk. It should be firm with a good amount of give. If you want the egg yoke to be less runny, cook the egg until the yolk is fairly firm.

For those new to poaching eggs, there are a few things to notice about the egg as you are poaching it. There are three main parts of an egg:  the yolk, the whites, and then the exterior albumen whites. When the egg is dropped into the water, you will notice the egg looks like it is just spreading everywhere. This is actually the exterior albumen, and it is very difficult and not really necessary to try and keep that close to the egg. The main whites and the yolk will stay intact in the water and will cook into a disk which will be easy to handle with a slotted spoon.

Pull the eggs out when they are cooked to your liking. Place onto a cloth to soak up the excess water.

If poaching eggs is still too intimidating, a soft boiled egg as a good alternative.

Directions for Plating the Dish:
Put the veggies down, lay an egg on top, then drizzle some salsa over the dish. Garnish with fresh radish and red onion.

Native Knowledge:  Interested in fresh, locally grown (and organic!) veggies delivered right to your door? Consider joining Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s CSA Program! Members purchase a subscription, choose their box size, and can choose to have fresh veggies and add-ons delivered to your home or office. JBG has very flexible scheduling options, so if you’re out-of-town or on a non-cooking bender, they will accommodate. Like many CSA programs, this is a great way to make sure money, jobs, and land are kept within the local community! What is CSA you might ask? CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a relationship between the farm, and you, the customer. You pledge to support the farm by becoming a member. In exchange, they pledge to provide you with healthy organic vegetables each week.

Contact JBG:
9515 Hergotz Lane
Austin, TX 78742

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