Thursday, September 15, 2011

Egg sandwich with Harissa

Once again I have had to think of things to make for lunching alone since my daughter went back to school a week back. Most of the time I end up eating leftovers, since it is too bothersome to cook for one person. Last night we had a salad with avocado and there was half left which had to be consumed otherwise it would go brown. Egg sandwich with avocado seemed like a nice thing to eat with additional condiments to break the creaminess of both of those ingredients.

I am not much of a mayonnaise or sour cream kind of person and try to avoid it as much as I can by substituting greek yogurt, but yogurt and eggs didn't seem very appetizing. So, I came up with this combination with avocado, tomato, onion and harissa. Instead of the mayo or butter I used avocado paste on one slice of bread, topped it with the boiled egg slices, sliced tomato and sliced onions and smeared some harissa on the other slice. Made for a real good lunch with very little fuss.

If you haven't been introduced to harissa, it is a North African condiment, which is used in stews and to flavor couscous. Outside of Tunisia it is used in pasta, sandwiches, and even as a rub. There are many versions of harissa -  I like the version which is spicy and does not contain bell peppers. If you cannot get harissa, you could make your own - one version is here.

The picture that you see here was taken in a hurry since there was a cable guy coming to fix the television, and I did not have the time to slice the egg and lay it out neatly before taking the picture.

One more thing goes towards making a good egg sandwich and that is the method used for boiling the egg. My entire childhood went hating boiled eggs, since my mom overcooked the eggs and they had a grey coating on the yolk and the awful sulfurous smell. I have come a long way since. The best way to get a hard boiled egg without under or over cooking, I have found is to place the egg in a saucepan just large enough to hold the egg(s) covered with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Set the timer to 10 minutes for a large/extra large egg and 8 minutes for a medium egg. Remove the egg from the hot water and give it a few cracks and then soak them in chilled water till you are ready to use. The cracking allows the shell to loosen up and makes it easier to peel.

Finally for the recipe:

Egg sandwich with Harissa

Fillers for the egg sandwich

1 hard boiled egg (For method look above)
1/2 avocado
1/4 vine ripened tomato thinly sliced, seeds removed
1/8 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 teaspoon harissa (use less if the harissa is too spicy)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 large slices country bread, lightly toasted

  1. Peel the hard boiled egg, cut into half and thinly slice vertically. 
  2. Cut the avocado into thin vertical slices and drizzle the lemon juice over the avocado to prevent it from browning while you prepare the sandwich
  3. Lay out the toasted bread on a cutting board and cover one half with the harissa. Then layer it with half of the avocado slices, tomato, onion and half the egg slices. Sprinkle the sea salt over the eggs. On the second toast, mash the remaining avocado slices to form a paste. Cover the sandwich with the second slice of bread. Press down and cut into half and serve with some potato chips.
Makes 1 sandwich

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Sweetcorn and Pesto panini
Mushroom and Spinach panini


  1. Oh, an egg sandwich with avocado sounds interesting. Its quite hard to get avocado in India though. But, I find one will definitely try it out.

  2. @Sudeshna : Hope you can try it out

  3. Just had a taste of avocado and harissa on their own on a slice of toast and love it so much I am buying more avocado tomorow to try a harissa guacamole. Strange how you can love 2 ungredients but never think of combining them even though they complement each other perfectly until someone points it out.

    Your chicked sandwich with potatoes and harissa on the other hand is nostalgia inducing, a favourite snack kiosk sold baguettes filled with grilled chicken/Libyan spicy fried liver, mashed potatoes and harissa. Great blog and thanks for commenting!

  4. Dunia, have fun with the avocado and harissa - let me know how your guacamole turned out.