Sunday, February 26, 2012

Veggie Eggs Benedict

I always order Eggs Benedict when I go out for brunch. I just love the combination of a delicately poached egg atop a fluffy English muffin with buttery Hollandaise sauce. I fantasize about the moment you put your fork into the yolk and the warm yellow goodness runs all over the plate, creating the most luscious sauce imaginable.

So yesterday I tried my hand at making Eggs Benedict at home, and it was a huge success! Not only was it easy to make, it was impressive to serve to overnight guests that were expecting nothing more than cold cereal for breakfast. Given our guests were vegetarian, and I just can't get enough veggies, I used fresh spinach, tomato and avocado instead of the traditional Canadian bacon, and it was better than the original! I used a blender to make the Hollandaise sauce, and it was so easy and delicious. The eggs were perfectly poached with fluffy whites and runny yolks. Don't be intimidated by this brunch classic- make it at home and impress them all!

Veggie Eggs Benedict
The best breakfast that's sure to impress!
Serves 4

4 English muffins, split
1 pound baby spinach
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tomatoes, sliced into 8 slices
1 avocado, sliced
Salt & pepper

Blender Hollandaise
2 large egg yolks
3 tsp. lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Poached Eggs
2 tsp. salt
3 T white vinegar
8 large eggs (organic, free-range eggs are best!)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add spinach a handful at a time and toss with tongs until wilted down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

Separate English muffins onto a large baking sheet so you have 8 halves. Bake in oven for 5 minutes to gently crisp. Remove and top each muffin half with some spinach and a tomato slice. Bake in oven for 10 minutes to heat through.

Meanwhile, make Hollandaise sauce. Put egg yolks, lemon juice and cayenne in a blender and pulse to combine. Melt butter in the microwave. With the blender running gradually add melted butter to yolk mixture to make a smooth, frothy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. If you're not serving the sauce immediately place a small heat-proof bowl over a small sauce pan on the stove with an inch of simmering water (not boiling) and add the Hollandaise sauce to bowl. Stir occasionally and whisk vigorously right before serving.  

To poach eggs, fill a large non-stick skillet nearly to the rim with water. Add salt and vinegar, and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Crack eggs into boiling water, cover and remove from heat. Poach until yolks are medium-loose, 4 minutes.

Arrange two English muffin halves on four warmed plates. Add avocado slices, a poached egg, and Hollandaise sauce to each half. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh black pepper, and serve immediately.

Dont' forget the mimosas!

Veggie Eggs Benedict recipe by Sarah Lang
Blender Hollandaise recipe adapted from Food Network
Poached Eggs recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

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