Today I received a fantastic loaf of bread in my grocery delivery box - the most lovely loaf of French bread I have ever laid my eyes upon. Before I even put the rest of the groceries away, I cut off a slice from the end - perfection! Very moist, tender, and fine crumb, lovely yeasty smell and flavor, thin but crisp shell. An excellent bread from Boulangerie Nantaise, in Seattle. I hadn't planned on using the bread that day, but it seemed a shame not to eat it fresh, so I rummaged around the fridge to see what I could find.
Fresh eggs, some arugula needing to be used up, some beet greens, with beets to be used at a later date, and a fresh head of garlic. A lovely dinner was created - toasted and lightly buttered bread, layered with slightly bitter, savory, and garlicky greens made lively with a dash of sherry vinegar, topped with a poached egg. A delicious light supper, the egg yolk running into the greens, making a sauce; the greens softening the toasted bread just a bit. Yum.
Poached Eggs with Greens and Garlic on Toast
5 cloves of garlic, slicedIn a large saucepan, heat about 1 TB olive oil over low heat. Lightly cook the garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not brown). While garlic is cooking, chop up your beet greens - slice the stem into 1/4" pieces, and set aside. Chop up your leaves into 1" pieces and set them aside as well, separate from the stems. Add the beet stems to the garlic and cook for another 6-8 minutes on low heat, or until stems begin to get tender. Add the beet leaves, the vinegar, plus a sprinkling of salt, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the greens are wilted and tender. Add the arugula, and cook briefly until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stems and greens of 1 bunch of beets
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups arugula
4 small slices french bread, lightly toasted and buttered
salt and pepper to taste
While the greens are cooking, poach your eggs - in a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat water that's 3" deep to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Add about a TB of white vinegar to help the whites coagulate. Crack the eggs into small bowls, swirl the water lightly, and gently drop in your eggs one at a time, as close to the surface of the water as you can get, 2 per batch. I find it helpful to keep the water swirling just a bit - it keeps the egg from settling to the bottom and helps the egg cook evenly. Cook for about 4 minutes - 3 for very runny and 5 for a more gel-like egg yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon, let air dry a bit and serve immediately - top the bread with the greens mixture, and place an egg on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dig in! I portion 2 per person for a hearty brunch or a light dinner.