Who hasn't tucked into hotcakes or an omelet after dark? A savvy book editor and a pair of millennial food lovers joined forces to create "Breakfast for Dinner: Recipes for Frittata Florentine, Huevos Rancheros, Sunny-Side-Up Burgers, and More!" (Quirk Books; $19.95).
Co-authors Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth collaborate on the six-year-old LoveandOliveOil.com blog, which chronicles the married couple's cooking exploits in their Nashville loft.
They represent a new breed of food writers who develop non-intimidating recipes and produce killer food photography to boot. Landis is smart enough to use the light from a wall of windows and keep the visual setups simple. (If you have a penchant for spoons, you'll be happy.) Hackbarth eats, preps and does the dishes. This is a part-time gig for both: The one that pays the bill is their graphics and Web design business.
For "Breakfast," their goal was to riff on favorites with flavors they like, which translates often among the cookbook's 57 recipes to a shift from sweet to savory.
Some creations made the cut because they call for breakfast-friendly ingredients, such as the grapefruit that gives creamy risotto an unexpected yet welcome acidity. Appetizers, drinks and desserts get their due.
The recipes may not all be novel, but the overall collection merits return trips.
Italian-style stuffed french toast
Makes 8 slices
Filling: 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces (4 cups loosely packed) baby spinach
½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
Salt, ground black pepper
Toast: 1-pound loaf of soft whole-wheat French bread, cut into eight 1½-inch-thick slices; 3 large eggs; ½ cup low-fat milk; ¼ teaspoon salt; ½ teaspoon garlic powder; 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; about 2 cups store-bought or homemade marinara sauce, for serving
Filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes, just until it has wilted. Let cool, then coarsely chop and transfer to a medium bowl.
Add the ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, lemon zest, basil and oregano, stirring until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toast: Use a small serrated knife to cut a horizontal pocket in the side of each slice of bread. Carefully fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the spinach-ricotta mixture, then gently press to close.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and garlic powder in a shallow baking dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working with one stuffed slice of bread at a time, quickly dip it into the egg mixture, turning it over to coat both sides. Transfer to the hot oil. Repeat with more slices, taking care not to crowd the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining slices, adding the remaining oil as needed. Divide among individual plates. Spoon some of the warm marinara sauce over each portion. Serve hot.
This recipe is Adapted from "Breakfast for Dinner: Recipes for Frittata Florentine, Huevos Rancheros, Sunny-Side-Up Burgers, and More!," by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth (Quirk Books, 2013).
Per slice (without sauce): 250 calories; 11 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams fat.