Makes 1 serving. Easily doubled.
Here is something easy and inexpensive to round out and enrich your vegetarian meals. Top your favorite simple vegetable and grain dishes with this beautiful preparation, or simply eat the eggs free-standing (perhaps with a simple salad and a glass of crisp white wine) for a soothing, light weeknight supper.
To make the bread crumbs, toast four average slices of your favorite whole wheat bread. When they are crisp, buzz them to your desired consistency in the food processor. This will yield (approximately) a generous cup of fine crumbs, or 2 cups coarser hand-hewn crumbs (or anything in between).
You will need a medium-sized (9-inch) skillet with a tight fitting lid.
1) In a medium-sized (9-inch) skillet, toast the dry bread crumbs over low heat, stirring pretty much constantly and keeping watch. They will brown quickly.
After they appear to be toasted (just a few minutes in) add the olive oil, stirring it into the crumbs.
3) Push the oiled crumbs into two flat beds (not too thick –leave some crumbs on the side) and drop an egg onto each. Spoon any extra crumbs over the tops of the eggs, and sprinkle very lightly with salt and pepper.
4) Cover the pan, and cook very slowly – lowest possible heat, so the crumbs won’t get too dark. After several minutes, when the eggs have set, use a sturdy (sharp-edged, precise) spatula to completely loosen them and carefully flip onto the second side, attempting to rearrange the bread crumbs for maximum coverage. (Don’t fuss – just do your best. This is actually kind of fun.)
5) Cover the pan again and cook until just set. The second side will go much more quickly than the first. Carefully but firmly loosen and lift them out with the spatula onto a waiting plate and serving right away.