Poached eggs on crostini with pistou

Over easy like Sunday morning

Originally appeared in the August 18, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

There’s a Depeche Mode song that asks, “Is simplicity best, or simply the easiest?”  My answer is, well, sometimes both.  Case in point:  this recipe.  As a high school teacher—and with the tidal wave of the new schoolyear swelling on the horizon—relaxing with my family on the weekends is a premium.  So when it comes to breakfast and brunch, it doesn’t hurt to keep things simple and easy.  Read the rest after the jump:Poaching is a gentle process that yields delicate dishes.  And being proficient with this technique requires a few simple components:  water, heat, vinegar, finesse.  Oh, and bellies to feed.  Poached eggs have a delicate exterior and a silky, over-easy interior—an ideal counterpoint to the savory crunch of the crostini.  And similar to pesto, this pistou dressing enhances the dish with a salty, parmesan-garlic pungency.

Now if you’re squeamish about undercooked eggs, I hear you—it’s a reasonable concern.  Cook your eggs to a temperature that will make your audience the happiest.  If you have a little more piece of mind, there’ll be fewer pieces of leftover food on your plate.

It’s not just for Sunday brunch, so enjoy this recipe with friends, family, or (giving another nod to DM) simply “enjoy the silence.”

Poached eggs on crostini with pistou

Serves 2

  • 2 large eggs
  • As needed, water
  • As needed, white vinegar
  • 2 slices French bread, oiled, toasted
  • 2 handfuls fresh arugula of baby greens
  • 1 ounce fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • As needed, olive oil

1.  In a blender or food processor, combine fresh basil, garlic, and parmesan.  Pulse until mixture is broken up.  With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until mixture resembles a thin vinaigrette.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reserve in refrigerator.

2.  Fill up a medium-sized saucepan with water; add vinegar and apply heat until you can maintain a temperature of 180° F.  Gently crack eggs into a small dish, taking care not to break yolks.  Delicately pour one egg at a time in poaching liquid, using a spoon to fold albumen over egg to keep oblong shape.  After 4-5 minutes (or after reaching desired doneness), remove egg and reserve on a lightly oiled plate.  Repeat process for second egg.

3.  In a bowl, lightly dress salad greens with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place salad on plate, add crostini, and place egg on crostini.  Finish with pistou and serve.

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