An Ode to the Stolen Menu

Hi everyone!  I have some bad news… my very favorite, favorite breakfast restaurant has closed.  Not even ‘is closing’ …as in, I could get there one more time.  Closed, past tense, done (wipes tear).  Such a bummer!

The cafe was called The Stolen Menu.  The food was the best… always delicious, with inventive combinations and the freshest ingredients, and lots of veggies, which naturally, I love.  I also loved the name and concept… the ‘stolen’ menu was inspired MJ’s own experiences eating and cooking good food, and she aspired to one day have a menu that others would want to steal from.  Well, that day has definitely arrived!  I actually swiped a menu during a visit with the intent of borrowing some of her masterpieces.  🙂

My parents introduced me to this gem… so, Jonathan and I invited them over for a farewell brunch while I recreated of one of my favorite dishes.  It was a hit!

Stolen Farm-to-Table Breakfast

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite meals at The Stolen Menu in York, Maine.  It’s almost a Benedict with the poached eggs, toasted foccacia and pesto drizzle… but way more delicious!!  And it goes together super fast, which is important when you wake up hungry.  Oven roasted sweet potato homefries are a perfect side.  Serves 4

  • 2 portabella mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 12 stalks asparagus
  • fresh baby spinach
  • eggs (1 or 2 per person)
  • 4 slices foccacia bread (if you make your own, I’m really impressed, I picked up a loaf at a local bakery)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 4 Tbs milk
  • thinly sliced swiss cheese (I used Jarlesburg, sliced with a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, optional as a side dish

stolen ingredients

If you are serving the sweet potato homefries, scrub and chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes.  Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast at 450F for 35 mins while you prep the rest of the meal.

Thinly slice the mushroom, zucchini and red pepper.  Chop the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.  Sautee the veggies over medium-high heat, I like to keep them a little crisp.  I had an OCD-moment and cooked the veggies separately for plating purposes, but you could definitely cook them together.

stolen sautee

Toast the foccacia and keep warm in the oven.  Heat the pesto and thin with a few tablespoons of milk.  You can throw this in the oven to stay warm as well.

Now poach the eggs.. this goes quickly, so make sure everything else is ready!  Bring a pot of water to a boil, you only need 3-4 inches of water.  Here’s my little trick: first crack the eggs into a cereal bowl and then slide the eggs from the bowl into the boiling water.  So much easier than breaking eggs directly into the boiling water!  You can crack all of the eggs into the bowl and slide them together into the water.  Turn the heat down and watch carefully.  I check them constantly.  Depending how runny you like ’em and how many eggs you are cooking (more eggs take longer), poaching takes about 5-8 minutes.

To serve, start with a small bed of baby spinach.  Add the toasted foccacia and layer thinly sliced cheese with the sauteed vegetables.  Top with a poached egg and pesto drizzle.  Serve alongside sweet potato homefries.

stolen bfast

stolen bfast2

And an up-close of Jonathan digging in…… it makes me so happy to see people enjoy my cooking!  🙂

stolen digin

Everyone loved breakfast!  The pesto drizzle works really well with the vegetables… the crunchy foccacia softened by the poached egg and hint of cheese… it’s really a perfect combination of flavors.  MJ, your lovely cafe will be missed!  Warm wishes to you and yours!

xox, Kristen