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Playing Birds in a Nest with Peppers and Sausage


  • 1 large red cubanelle frying pepper or red bell pepper
  • 1 small red chile pepper, such as fresno, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 5 to 6 cups arugula
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 4 slices 1-inch-thick peasant bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
  • 4 eggs


Serves: 4


Preheat the broiler. Broil the frying pepper (or bell pepper) on a broiler pan, turning occasionally, until blackened all over (alternatively, char over a gas flame on the stovetop). Transfer to a bowl, cover and let cool for a couple of minutes then peel away charred skin. Slice the peppers.

In a bowl, combine the chopped chile and vinegar. Season with salt.

In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Form the sausage meat into 4 thin patties and cook through in the skillet, turning once, 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet and reserve.

In a large bowl, dress the arugula with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons EVOO; season with salt and pepper. Top with the cheese.

Cut a 1 1/2-inch hole in the center of the bread slices. In the reserved skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO and the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute; discard the garlic. Add the bread; season with salt. Fry until golden, then flip.

Crack an egg into each bread hole. Top with a few drops of the chile vinegar and a few slices of roasted pepper strapped across the raw eggs. Loosely cover the pan with foil to set the eggs, about 1 minute. Flip the toast again and cook for 1 minute, then flip back, pepper side up.

To serve, slide the egg toasts onto plates. Serve with a sausage patty and the arugula salad alongside.