Since this month we’re talking about body positivity and what makes us feel good, here’s one thing I always look forward to: Sunday brunch. Not only is the food delicious, but it feeds the soul to catch up with family and friends. Life is a balancing act, and it’s important to splurge and find the positivity in things that make you happy.
That leads me to today’s Sunday Brunch Series, which highlights a dish from my hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho. Here my friend Lindsey Johnson of Lady in the Wild West captures the spirit of one of the town’s most beloved restaurants, Cristina’s.
As soon as you walk through the doors of the cozy pink house the restaurant calls home, you never want to leave. Even Cristina herself, a petite brunette who hustles behind the counter and makes sure everyone has a wonderful time, is a Sun Valley staple. She made my wedding cake, so you can understand why her restaurant is one of the first places I go when I return to Sun Valley!
It’s so exciting to team up with Lindsey and nod to a hometown favorite. We’ve never actually been to Sun Valley together, but I can’t wait to catch up with her over eggs on toast and a glass of Prosecco before getting back out into that fresh mountain air.
I’m so glad you will be able to enjoy the dish at home with some of your favorite people, too. If you do make it to the restaurant, don’t leave without some of the delicious focaccia and fresh-baked cookies.
Okay, take it away, Lindsey!
Eggs on Toast with Prosciutto, Roasted Asparagus and Caramelized Tomatoes
By Lindsey Johnson
Gen and I share a deep-rooted affection for small mountain towns. We love the rustic way of life, the charming shopping streets, the cozy cafe where you can linger at your favorite corner table. The feeling of warmth and nostalgia these towns evoke is a feeling that stays with you long after you’ve left—and calls you back. And the one mountain town that has left an imprint on both our hearts is Sun Valley, Idaho. It’s a place like nowhere else.
Gen was fortunate enough to grow up in Sun Valley, while I was fortunate to spend summers and winters there with my family as a kid. It was my dad’s favorite place on earth: Sun Valley is peaceful and rustic, with a genuine wild west influence and breathtaking natural beauty. It’s almost like you’ve stepped onto a movie set, it’s so perfect. Then, upon discovering it’s actually real, you want to keep it a secret so you can preserve its charm forever. (So shhh…don’t tell anyone.)
We both go back to visit as often as possible, and while Sun Valley has grown quite a bit, it remains the fairytale mountain town of our youth, complete with the rustic way of life, the charming shopping streets and the cozy cafe with our favorite corner table. For Gen and I, that cafe is Cristina’s.
Cristina’s restaurant, owned by chef Cristina Ceccatelli, is a European-style bistro located in the heart of Sun Valley. Walking through the door, you immediately feel at home; Cristina makes the rounds personally each day to check on her guests. The food is something special, too: Her recipes are farm-to-table, seasonally inspired and based on the rich traditions of her Italian heritage.
We go for Sunday brunch, which, while simple, is a work of magic. This is my spin on her most quintessential dish, Cristina’s Eggs. And to wash it down? A crisp, refreshing Blackberry Bourbon Smash.
I hope this dish transports you to the mountains. Enjoy!
Eggs on Toast with Prosciutto, Roasted Asparagus, and Caramelized Tomatoes
Inspired by Cristina’s in Sun Valley, ID
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
- 6 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced ¼” thick
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 6 thick-cut slices crusty sourdough bread (or favored bread)
- 12 eggs
- 12 slices of prosciutto
- good quality honey mustard or whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- good quality extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Prepare a baking sheet with a few drizzles of olive oil. Lay the asparagus on one half and the tomatoes on the other, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the asparagus. Sprinkle the sugar over the tomatoes. Roast for 12-15 minutes till the edges are lightly browned and caramelized. Set aside.
- With a toaster oven or under the broiler, toast the sliced bread till lightly crisp on the edges.
- Prepare 6 plates with a slice of toasted bread. Top each slice with a generous layer of honey mustard, 2 slices of prosciutto, roasted asparagus, and caramelized tomatoes. Set aside while you cook the eggs.
- In a medium non-stick skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Working with two eggs at a time, cook in the olive oil to desired doneness. Eggs sunny side up works best.
- Top each plate with two eggs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
To compliment this savory and hearty dish, we need a cocktail with some depth of flavor that still refreshes. My choice, the Blackberry Bourbon Smash. I make mine with orange juice, but feel free to stick to the traditional choice of lemon or lime.
Blackberry Bourbon Smash
Makes 1 cocktail
- ¼ cup fresh blackberries (extra for garnish)
- 3-4 fresh mint leaves (extra for garnish)
- ½ oz simple syrup
- 1 oz fresh orange juice
- 2 oz bourbon
- soda water
- In a lowball glass, muddle the mint leaves, blackberries, simple syrup, and orange juice.
- Fill with ice. Add the bourbon. Stir.
- Fill the remainder with soda water. Give it one more light stir.
- Garnish with blackberries and mint leaf.