To-Die-For Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs get a tasty upgrade with the addition of sweet-and-spicy candied bacon. They’re the perfect appetizer to bring to Easter or your next potluck brunch and are sure to be a hit!

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you’re a fan of deviled eggs, you better fasten your seatbelt, because the classic springtime brunch appetizer just got a whole lot better. Yep, I’ve gone ahead and taken deviled eggs and upped the ante by sprinkling on the most delicious candied bacon, giving them the perfect hint of sweet, spicy AND crunchy. Let’s be honest, bacon makes everything better!

Deviled eggs are one of those dishes that can be a bit intimidating to make, but really shouldn’t be. Once you get the technique down, you’ll most definitely want to be serving these for more than just your annual Easter brunch.

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, how’s it done?

The first, and perhaps most intimidating, step is hard boiling your eggs. There are lots of different techniques out there, from using a steamer to breaking out the ever-so-popular Instant Pot, but I prefer to stick to the good old-fashioned way of boiling them in water.  It’s pretty darn foolproof and, after all, aren’t they called “hard-boiled eggs”? I’ve included my easy-peasy technique in the recipe directions below. You’ll never be intimidated to hard-boil eggs again!

While you’re waiting for your eggs to cool down (that ice water bath is so crucial for easy peeling), you can whip up the candied bacon, which couldn’t be easier. All it takes is two ingredients and another foolproof cooking method to take our favorite breakfast treat from standard fare to sweet-and-spicy candied treat. Even though you’ll only need three slices of the bacon for the eggs, in the recipe I’ve included amounts for a dozen slices (an entire standard pack of bacon) so you’ll have plenty to snack on on the side. You can thank me later!

Once the bacon is done and cooling, the next step is to make the filling. I’ve stuck to a VERY basic filling recipe (thanks, Mom!) but it’s for a reason, I promise. We want that sweet-and-spicy candied bacon to really shine through!

Now that the different components are all prepared, you’re ready to compose your deviled eggs. I prefer to use a piping bag for the filling, but you can also easily use a Ziploc with the tip cut off or even a spoon. There are no hard and fast rules about this.

Once you’re done with the filling, all that’s left to do is sprinkle on that oh-so-tasty candied bacon. See? I told you it was easy!

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now what??

Well, I’m not going to sugar coat it (hehe, pun intended), but you’re probably not going to be able to wait until whatever function you’re bringing these to to give them a shot. So give them a taste (you might need to eat two so as not to give your taste test away with an odd number of eggs when you get to the function), and then artfully arrange them so it’s not obvious. These do keep for a while in the refrigerator, but I encourage consuming them within one to two days for that candied bacon to really pop. If you’re transporting them, be sure to keep them tightly packed in a single layer so they don’t roll around or flip over.

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

Well, what are you waiting for?? Hop to it and make some Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs ASAP!

To-Die-For Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Deviled eggs get a tasty upgrade with the addition of sweet-and-spicy candied bacon. They’re the perfect appetizer to bring to Easter or your next potluck brunch and are sure to be a hit!

Course: Appetizer
Keyword: appetizer, bacon, brunch, Easter, eggs, hors d'oeuvres
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 138 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan and fill saucepan with water until it comes to about an inch over the eggs. Place on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover saucepan and let sit for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, transfer the eggs to an ice bath until they are cool to the touch. 

  2. Place bacon on a baking rack over a sheet pan. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cayenne with a fork. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the bacon, reserving the rest for later. Place bacon in oven, then turn oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Set a timer for 12 minutes (the preheating time is considered part of the cooking time here.)

  3. After the 12 minutes is up, remove the bacon and, using tongs, flip it over. Sprinkle the reserved brown sugar-cayenne mixture over the second side and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the bacon looks done and fairly crisp. Remove and let cool on the rack, turning off the oven. 

  4. Peel your eggs and slice them in half vertically. Carefully scoop out the yolks and add them to a small mixing bowl. Next, add the vinegar, mayonnaise, relish, salt and pepper to the mixing bowl. Mash all of the ingredients together with a fork, until there are no large chunks remaining. 

  5. Using a piping bag, Ziploc or spoon, divide the filling evenly among the whites of the eggs. Finely chop up three slices of the candied bacon and sprinkle over the top of each egg. To finish, sprinkle on some chopped fresh chives. 

Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime

Are you ready for the pizza toppings to end all pizza toppings?

Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Lime and Cilantro is a fun new pizza flavor that is sure to impress.

Because I’m pretty sure after eating this Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime you’re never going to want to go back to plain ol’ cheese or pepperoni again.

I mean, we all know what a bona fide hit avocado toast has become, so it would only make sense that avocado pizza follows suit. The mere fact that this recipe includes bacon means it’s perfectly acceptable for breakfast, and why not just call it a day by throwing a fried egg on top? You’re welcome for that little nugget of inspiration.

In real world news, still no sign of baby. We “lived it up” this weekend as a family of two with a visit to the Harbor & Seafood Festival, a stop at the local pumpkin patch, a movie and some dinner out. We’re trying to enjoy as much time together as we can before our little girl gets here!

On the NorCal wildfire front, I’m relieved to see that they’re getting things somewhat under control (comparatively speaking) and was uplifted to see some of my favorite local businesses reopening over the past few days. That’s not to say there’s still not a long way for Napa and Sonoma to go as far as recovery is concerned, but let’s hope the worst is behind us and things only go up from here.

A slice of Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime ready to be devoured.

As I’ve been whipping through recipe development this past week, I’ve certainly not taken it for granted. Often, when I’m pulling something out of the oven or stirring something on the stovetop, I find myself thinking about how, for my food-loving friends in Wine Country, whipping up a home-cooked meal is the last thing on their mind right now. I wish I could make a big feast and somehow get it up to them, but for now all I can do is continue to make delicious things and record them so that hopefully my friends can enjoy making some of my creations very soon.

This Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime is one I know will be a huge hit with ANYONE who is blessed with the gene that makes you love cilantro (I hear that’s a thing? Sorry to all my cilantro-haters out there.) The combination of all four flavors – avocado, bacon, cilantro and lime – complimented by my go-to overnight pizza crust recipe and just a light dusting of cheese is seriously a party in your mouth.

It seems like a bit of a cheater’s pizza, because really the only toppings you put on before baking are some olive oil, garlic and cheese, but the real flavor arrives as soon as you put on those finishing touches of creamy avocado, crispy cooked bacon, tart lime juice and fresh-chopped cilantro. And if you’re like me and are usually too lazy to reheat anything when enjoying it for leftovers, Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime is going to be your new best friend. Promise.

A couple of slices of Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime make the perfect easy lunch or dinner.

As I mentioned, I used my favorite from-scratch pizza dough recipe – Jim Lahey’s Overnight Pizza Dough – but you can easily use a premade dough or crust. I will say that, even though the words “overnight” and “from-scratch” may seem a bit intimidating, Jim Lahey’s recipe is SUPER easy and in my opinion well worth the little bit of extra planning it requires to mix up a batch of the dough the night before you plan on making the pizza.

I don’t know about you, but pizza is a weekly go-to dinner in our household, and having a homemade version makes it infinitely better. I love that you can add as much (or as little) of a topping as you want, and you can opt for healthier options like fresh vegetables, meats and herbs. Plus, it all comes together pretty quickly once you have your pie rolled out and ready to go in the oven!

Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime is the perfect easy lunch or dinner for any day of the week.

Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

A traditional pizza dough is dressed up with fresh avocado, crispy bacon, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. The perfect flavor combo!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 batch of Jim Lahey's Overnight Pizza Dough (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 4 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 of a large avocado, sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Prepare pizza dough according to recipe directions and roll out onto a large pizza or baking sheet dusted with cornmeal (or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.)

  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  3. Brush olive oil evenly over pizza dough and sprinkle on minced garlic and cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden and the cheese has melted.

  4. Remove pizza from oven and let cool slightly (5 minutes or so) before adding the other toppings. Sprinkle the chopped bacon evenly over the pizza, followed by the avocado. Squeeze on the lime juice and finish with the chopped cilantro.

  5. Slice pizza into wedges and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Find the recipe for Jim Lahey's pizza dough here

Avocado Pizza with Bacon, Cilantro and Lime | CaliGirlCooking.com

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam

Boy, have I got a treat for you today!

This Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is delicious fresh out of the oven and topped with fresh arugula.

The name of this pizza may be a mouthful, but trust me when I say you’ll be wanting to stuff your mouth full with as much of it as possible as soon as you taste that first bite. Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam, your day has come.

Okay, I know I haven’t entertained you with my travel post all about our second honeymoon/babymoon to Kauai yet, but I promise it’s coming! And this recipe can be seen as a little sneak peak of what’s in store, because I actually got the idea from one of the restaurants we visited in a little town called Kapaa.

We stopped into The Local one afternoon after a hike to some waterfalls and some glorious beach time, ready for a refreshing drink and light snack. We had scoped out the menu online, and the place had come highly recommended to us by a few of our friends, so we definitely wanted to check it out. Among other things, “The Local Pizza” had caught my eye – I mean, this gal can’t really pass up a pizza that features brie, bacon, arugula and JAM – and I was instantly curious.

Unfortunately, since we were there around 3:00pm, we were too late for lunch and a little too early for dinner, so we only had a limited Happy Hour menu available to us to order, which meant no pizza 🙁 That’s okay, though, we made up for it with a huge basket of French fries and tasty deviled eggs with crispy chicken skin on top. Nevertheless, I snapped a photo of the pizza’s description on the menu and decided I’d just have to make my own version to try it out!

No one will be able to resist this Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam!

Man, I love it when I’m not disappointed.

The original recipe for The Local Pizza included local papaya vanilla jam, brie, bacon, arugula and the option of adding sliced jalapeños on top. I knew it would be a little tricky for me to find papaya vanilla jam at home, so I raided the pantry to see what sort of tropical fruit jam we had and came across passion fruit (or lilikoi) that we had found at our local Asian market. Another flavor that is a little more easy to come by here in the states is guava jam, which would also be a fantastic option. The issue of adding in some vanilla flavor was easily solved by stirring some vanilla bean seeds into the jam when I was ready to spread it on the pizza.

The only other changes I made to the original toppings were (a) omitting the jalapeños (I’m not a huge fan unless they’re involved in some sort of Mexican food) and (b) using goat milk brie instead of the more typical cow milk brie.

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam straight out of the oven, before adding the fresh arugula topping.

As I do with just about all my pizzas these days, I turned to Jim Lahey’s internet-famous pizza dough recipe for my base to this tasty treat. Even though it requires an overnight rise, it is soooo easy and takes less than 10 minutes to prep. You could also use some store-bought pizza dough if you’re feeling lazy (my fave is Trader Joe’s brand) but trust me when I say Jim Lahey’s dough is totally worth the slightly more trouble (if you call mixing a quick dough together harder than getting in your car and driving down to your local supermarket, looking for parking, standing in line, etc.) Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is just a leeeetle special, so I think it’s fair to say it deserves a special crust.

Jim Lahey’s recipe asks you to break the dough up into four pieces for four smaller pizzas, but I used the entire recipe to make one big pie. This made the crust slightly thicker, so if you’re more a fan of the thin-crust stuff, you may want to break it down to two (or even the four suggested) pies.

Because there are so many delicate flavors on this pizza, I of course omitted any sort of tomato or white sauce and stuck to a simple coating of olive oil and fresh garlic before loading on the vanilla-scented jam, bacon and goat brie. After a quick 15-minute turn in the oven, your Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is ready for its “crowning moment”: a hefty sprinkling of fresh arugula, dash of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt!

A delicious slice of Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam.

After taking your first bite, you’ll definitely notice the flavor explosion – sweetness from the jam, saltiness from the bacon, an earthy creaminess from the goat brie and a fresh bite from the arugula. So many wonderful things going on! You may also just feel like this Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is transporting you to a tropical island somewhere, which isn’t a bad way to spend a Monday, am I right??

This Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is the perfect lunch or dinner for any day of the week!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This pizza is a flavor explosion - sweetness from the jam, saltiness from the bacon, earthiness from the goat cheese and the fresh tang of arugula!

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 batch Jim Lahey's pizza dough, already risen overnight (Link in notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for topping
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup passion fruit (lilikoi) jam
  • Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
  • 5 ounces goat brie, thinly sliced into squares
  • 5 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2-3 cups arugula, for topping
  • Sea salt, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In a large, greased pizza pan, roll out the pizza dough to the desired thickness and shape. Spread on the olive oil using a pastry brush or paper towel, then sprinkle on the minced garlic.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the jam and vanilla bean seeds. Spread the jam mixture evenly onto the pizza crust over the olive oil and garlic.

  4. Sprinkle the goat brie and bacon pieces over the jam, then place pizza in the 475 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust. Remove when crust is slightly golden and feels firm to the touch.

  5. Sprinkle arugula over the cooling pizza, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some sea salt. Serve immediately.

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam | CaliGirlCooking.com

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese

The ultimate Dad food.

A large serving platter of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese over a bed of mixed greens.

But really, if you’re trying to sneak in any sort of salad/light-ish side dish for your Father’s Day cookout this weekend, these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese are the answer. I mean, whose Dad doesn’t like bacon?

And bacon isn’t all you get here. Prepare yourself for an explosion of garlic-laced balsamic flavor, meaty mushrooms and a sprinkling of tangy goat cheese. Serve it all over a bed of greens (I’m partial to something involving arugula) and the dish passes as a salad that the dudes will even be helping themselves to seconds of.

An overhead shot of a single serving of delicious Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, served over a bed of greens.

To start, I used the same marinade that I use for my Balsamic-Marinated Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. I love marinating veggies because they only need 30 minutes MAX before they’re ready to go. No waiting hours (or worse, overnight!) for them to be ready for the grill.

While the mushrooms are marinating, you’ll partially cook the bacon in the oven. Because mushrooms don’t take too long to grill up, we need to give the bacon a little head start. The partially cooked bacon gets wrapped around our sufficiently marinated Portobello’s, then we fire up the grill!

Once we have the mushrooms on the grill, this dish will be ready in a flash. The ‘shrooms will only need about 5-6 minutes on each side to cook (hence, why we precooked the bacon,) then we let them cool slightly, lay them over the bed of greens and sprinkle with that crumbly goat cheese. That’s it! And because there’s so much flavor packed into the Portobello’s, you really don’t even need a separate dressing.

A tray of delicious Portobello mushrooms.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of having some of these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese with all of the other delicious food we’ll be eating this weekend has me REAL excited for our trip up to our parents’.

In fact, I’m taking a tip from my gal Lee over at Fit Foodie Finds and hustling to get all my work done by end-of-day Thursday so I can take Friday off and spend it getting ready for our little road trip north later that afternoon. Anyone else here whose self-employed agree that every summer work week should only be four days?? Let’s start a movement! I’m hoping it helps me be more productive during the week if I have more strict guidelines of when I need to get things done by. The extra hours of sunlight don’t hurt either so I can get more photography done during the day!

Okay, but seriously, even if you’re not doing anything special this weekend, or if you want a quick, healthy meal to get you through the rest of this week, I highly recommend you get about making these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese.

A large plate of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, ready to be enjoyed on Father's Day!

Here’s to getting through the rest of the work week with delicious food on the horizon!!

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Marinated Portobello mushrooms wrapped in bacon and topped with crumbly goat cheese. A hearty, delicious salad that even the guys in your life will love!

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed, cut into spears
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 pieces bacon
  • Goat cheese
  • Mixed greens, to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the mushrooms in a resealable plastic bag with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

  2. While the mushrooms are marinating, partially cook the bacon. Lay the bacon out on a large jelly roll pan line with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (so you will not be preheating the oven, it will preheat while the bacon is already inside.) Set the timer for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool slightly, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Remove the mushrooms from the refrigerator and wrap each one with a piece of the partially cooked bacon. 

  4. Heat your gas grill to medium, then put on the bacon-wrapped mushrooms spears. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until the bacon is sufficiently cooked. Be careful when working the grill as the grease from the bacon may cause flare-ups. 

  5. Place cooked mushrooms spears over a bed of mixed greens and sprinkle with goat cheese, to serve. 

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch!

**Author’s Note: You may notice that this girl-powered post is coming to you a day later than my usual weekly posting schedule. We had originally planned to post our Spring Fling Brunch on Wednesday, March 8, but then discovered that many of the ladies in our lives (coworkers, friends, family, etc.) were participating in A Day Without a Woman. After some deliberation, we decided to postpone our posts until Thursday to show our support for all females and gender-oppressed individuals. As always, I so appreciate your support for me and so many of my fellow bloggers and lady entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy reading about our brunch just as much as we enjoyed throwing it!

The classic Italian bread salad gets a morning makeover with the addition of bacon and eggs. The perfect dish for a spring-themed brunch!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

I am so excited for today’s post because it has been a long time coming. I’ve mentioned it before, but I truly feel so fortunate to have met so many amazing lady entrepreneurs IRL in my small little community of Santa Barbara. I’ve met fellow bloggers, freelancers, small-business owners, you name it. I’ve enjoyed interacting with every single person I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with, and have learned so much by having this diverse sounding board to bounce ideas off of, ask for advice, etc.

Way back in November, my fellow blogging babes, Hana-Lee from Wander and Wine and Becky from Baking the Goods, and I started throwing around the idea of a collaboration brunch. We all have such unique niches when it comes to our blogs (Hana-Lee focuses on wine and travel, while Becky’s the baker and I’m the cook with a side of mixology) that we thought it would be a great opportunity to play off of each other’s strengths and introduce our readers to all of the fantastic things everyone is doing in their own little corner of the Interwebs.

Well, after much rescheduling and the craziness of the holidays, we were finally able to pull it off. The result was a super fun and festive Spring Fling Brunch we held on a beautifully sunny day last week. I whipped up this hearty Breakfast Panzanella, while Becky brought a stunning Ricotta, Potato & Spring Pea Galette and, of course, Hana-Lee brought the wine. We were also able to get some of our other local lady entrepreneurs involved – Vanessa from Garibaldi Goods provided her over-the-top delicious homemade bread (and some jam, of course!), Amy from Bright Inc. provided the beautiful flower arrangements, and Alison from Sugar Cat Studio whipped up some brunch-themed cupcakes. Be sure to check out all of their blogs/websites/businesses because they are all amazing and work their little tushes off to turn out some amazing products. So fun!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

Let me just tell you, starting the photo shoot for this brunch at 12pm was pure torture. We did so in order to capture the best lighting, but by the end of our almost two-hour shoot, all of our stomachs were audibly growling because all of the food looked (and smelled) so good! Don’t worry, we were sure to taste everything afterwards because, you know, quality control.

When we decided to give our brunch a spring theme, my mind immediately turned to creating a dish that was full of incredibly fresh ingredients (hello, warmer weather) yet hearty enough to not shock our systems too much after a season of all of those comforting winter foods. I knew a Breakfast Panzanella would go perfectly with the Spring Fling theme and set about making a version loaded with two of my favorite breakfast items – bacon and eggs, of course!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m sure you’ve had (or at least heard of) the classic version of panzanella before, which generally consists of cubes of crusty bread, fresh basil and tomatoes, and some sort of dressing involving olive oil, vinegar, shallots and capers. For my Breakfast Panzanella, I omitted the capers in the dressing (I’m not the hugest fan) and of course added bacon and eggs, plus some fresh mozzarella, because CHEESE.

What resulted was a perfectly balanced salad – the basil and tomatoes are a reminder that warmer weather is just around the corner, while the crusty bread gives the dish that hominess we still crave during this transition between the seasons. This Breakfast Panzanella is also loaded with protein from the eggs, bacon and mozzarella, so it will fill you up and give you a nice solid base for all of that wine you’ll be drinking.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

This salad also comes together in almost no time at all. You can toast the bread cubes and cook the bacon the night before, which means you’ll be able to sleep in approximately 15 minutes more before you have to roll out of bed to scramble up some eggs and whisk together the dressing. What’s left after that is simply tossing everything together in one big bowl and garnishing with some fresh basil! If this Breakfast Panzanella isn’t the perfect brunch dish, I don’t know what is.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

My recommendation to you? Call up some of your girlfriends STAT and set a date for a Spring Fling Brunch of your own. Then head on over to my gal pals’ blog posts for all of the other deets you’ll need to make it a smashing success.

For the recipe for Becky’s Ricotta, Potato & Spring Pea Galette, head on over to Baking the Goods.

For all of Hana-Lee’s wine recommendations and pairing notes, head on over to Wander and Wine.

And be sure to check out all of the other ladies’ sites as well for further inspiration!

Bright Inc. for all of your floral inspiration,

Sugar Cat Studio to grab some tasty cupcake mixes,

and Garibaldi Goods for small-batch artisan foods from local California producers.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

Breakfast Panzanella
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

The classic Italian bread salad gets a morning makeover with the addition of bacon and eggs. The perfect dish for a spring-themed brunch!

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 4 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6-8 basil leaves, plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 5 cups cubed crusty sourdough (about 1/2 of a large loaf)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces ciliegine (baby mozzarella balls)
  • 3 eggs, scrambled
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once bacon is cooked, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Do not dispose of the bacon grease in the pan!

  2. Add 6-8 basil leaves to the saute pan with the bacon grease in it (still on medium heat) and then add the bread cubes. Toast, tossing to coat, until all of the cubes are golden brown. If the cubes seem dry, drizzle on a little olive oil as they continue to toast. You may notice that the basil gets crispy and crumbly as it cooks along with the bread, this is okay! The little bits of basil will add some additional flavor to the salad once it’s done. Once the bread cubes are nice and toasted, spread out on some parchment paper to dry out and cool completely.

  3. Next, mix up the vinaigrette. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients by shaking in a Mason jar or whisking vigorously in a small bowl. Set aside.

  4. Place the cooled bread cubes in a large bowl. Chop up the now cooled bacon and add it to the bowl as well, along with the ½ cup of chopped fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, ciliegine and scrambled eggs. 

  5. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Garnish with additional chopped basil, if desired.