Garlic Scape Soup


Garlic scapes are one of the most unusual, yet beautiful, items you’ll find at the farmers’ market. Fleeting, too, as they’re only around for a few short weeks in early summer. They can be used in a variety of ways—in stir-fries, pesto, scrambled eggs, and even replace a utensil in this Grilled Mushroom Satay with Garlic Scape Skewers I made a couple years ago.


With a lovely bunch of scapes on hand, today I decided on soup. A pretty puréed soup full of healthy ingredients and mild garlic flavor. Potatoes give it body and some fresh spinach helps keep the vibrant green color, although the addition of the milk dilutes it a bit. Garnished with fresh thyme from my herb garden and a sprinkling of pistachios to maintain the green color scheme, we had a light, but delicious lunch.

Originally thinking this would need to go through a fine mesh sieve after puréeing, it didn’t. I discarded the thicker last few inches of each scape and this resulted in no fibrous pieces remaining after pureeing. Was it smooth as silk? No, but darn close. Enjoy!

Garlic Scape Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

Garlic scapes, cut into 2 inch pieces, to measure 2 cups (cut off the end from the flower bulb on up and if the other ends seem fibrous, cut off a few inches there as well)

½ a large yellow onion, chopped

1 medium to large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

A couple handfuls of fresh spinach leaves

4 cups good quality vegetable broth/stock (homemade is ideal)

1 cup milk of choice (whole, low-fat, cream, almond, evaporated, etc.)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped pistachios for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a stockpot or Dutch oven. When oil is hot, add scapes and onion, sprinkling with a little salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until scapes and onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in potato, thyme leaves, and spinach; add another small sprinkle of salt. Cook for an additional minute or two. Add stock/broth, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Cover pan, with lid slightly askew, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, purée soup until very smooth (alternately, purée in a blender in small batches, venting the lid to let steam escape, and return to pot). Place pot over medium heat and stir in milk, cooking until heated through, but not boiling. Add sherry vinegar or lemon juice and stir. Season with freshly ground black pepper and additional salt, if necessary.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved thyme and pistachios. Makes 4-6 servings.

Roasted Squash, Apple, Spinach, Caramelized Onion Pizza

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnyone who knows me or who reads my blog knows I love pizza. And the thing I love most about pizza is cheese. Sure, my pizza recipes are chock full o’ veggies, my crust is always whole grain (or whole vegetable in the case of cauliflower crust pizza), and overall, healthier than your typical pizzeria grease bomb, but cheese is consistently front and center. Until now.

The basis for this recipe popped up in Friday’s New York Times Cooking email and being it was from one of my favorite vegan chefs, Chloe Coscarelli, it caught my attention. What sealed the deal was everything this pizza called for was already in the fridge or pantry and there would be no need for a stop at the store to make it our Friday-night-after-work-dinner, prepared while enjoying a beginning-of-the-weekend glass of wine. I’ll stop with the hyphenated phrases now.

This pizza has no cheese, but I guarantee, you won’t miss it. The saucy white bean puree provides a tang and richness making cheese unnecessary. Yes, I said that. This cheese-is-the-best-thing-about-pizza person said that (okay, NOW, I’ll stop with the hyphenated phrases).

Experience has taught me to always read comments included after an online recipe and in this case, it brought a suggestion taking the flavors over the top. The idea of drizzling with a balsamic reduction when the pizza comes out of the oven is spot on and that made me think an additional drizzle of good quality olive oil (the kind you reserve for drizzles or dipping, not cooking) would be a great addition as well.

Most of this recipe can be made in advance, so you can eat at a reasonable weeknight time if you plan ahead. The white bean purée can be made up to a couple days in advance, the squash can be roasted the day before, and if you’re doing a homemade pizza crust, your dough will benefit from an overnight slow rise in the fridge. Even the balsamic reduction can be made ahead of time as well, and refrigerated until needed. The result is a hearty, filling, pizza-craving-satisfied meal, and you won’t miss the cheese! Enjoy!
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Roasted Squash, Apple, Spinach, Caramelized Onion Pizza

  • Servings: One 12-inch pizza
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Based on this NYT Cooking Chloe Coscarelli recipe

Garlic White Bean Purée:
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 large or two small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Pizza:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 apple, diced

Dough:
Pizza dough, preferably whole wheat (store-bought is fine, or make your own)

Drizzles:
Balsamic reduction (in a small saucepan, bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue simmering until reduced to 1/3 cup. Unused portion can be refrigerated for another use.)
Good tasting olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Make the Garlic White Bean Purée by blending the beans, oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a food processor. Add water, as needed, until a smooth consistency forms. Set aside. Can be made up to two days in advance.

Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes until squash is fork-tender, turning once with a spatula. Remove from oven and set aside.

Turn oven heat up to 450 degrees F. Place pizza stone in oven, if using.

While squash is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until soft and lightly caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Stretch or roll homemade or store-bought pizza dough into a 12-inch circle. Spread a layer of the garlic white bean purée evenly over the dough. (You will only use about half of the purée—use the rest as a dip for veggies or pita chips.) On top of the dough, arrange the spinach, caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash and diced apple. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake on pizza stone or pizza pan at 450 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time, until the crust is golden. Remove from oven and drizzle pizza with balsamic reduction and good quality olive oil. Slice and serve. Makes one 12-inch pizza.

 

Lemon Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

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Whenever I see a photo or recipe for stuffed pasta shells, I think of my late Great Aunt Betty. Betty was my grandma’s youngest sister and lived in the far-off land of Los Angeles with her husband and kids. We took a family road-trip to visit them the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, along the way camping in the mountains of Wyoming, a hotel night in Las Vegas, and on the return trip home, driving through California’s wine country and a stop in San Francisco, a city that stole my young heart.

In LA, we stayed with Aunt Betty and Uncle Tom and they and my cousins took us unsophisticated Midwesterners sightseeing to the worldly locales of Knott’s Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, Tijuana, Universal Studios, and beautiful sandy California beaches. But the best memories from that trip aren’t the roller coasters, bargaining at Mexican market stands, movie sets, or the Pacific Ocean. Me being me, aside from getting to spend time with extended family, the best memories are of the food Aunt Betty made. Specifically her stuffed pasta shells and Napoleons. This 14-year-old was uber impressed with both and we got the recipes so Mom could make them back home. The wonderful flavors are forever imbedded in my mind.

Recently  I saw a recipe for stuffed pasta shells on Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks, and thought back to Aunt Betty and her recipe. It wasn’t vegetarian, so maybe Heidi’s version could take its place? Yes, indeed!
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I’ve been cooking with whole wheat pasta almost exclusively for years, but have yet to find a source for whole wheat or whole grain jumbo pasta shells, even after searching ginormous supermarkets, my co-op, and online. Ultimately I opted for a package of unique (non-whole wheat) lumache giganti found in the Italian section at said ginormous supermarket. In retrospect, regular jumbo shells would have been better vehicles for stuffing, but I love the way these “snail” shells cook to a perfect al dente that held its toothsome bite even after baking.

To Heidi’s quick and simple tomato sauce I added some dried herbs for a little more depth and also sautéed some onion and spinach to include in the filling. Both Pete and I had to really hold ourselves back from eating till our bellies burst. A stuffed shells recipe that even outdoes Great Aunt Betty’s. Next time I might tackle Napoleons! Enjoy!
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Lemon Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks Stuffed Shells

 

Zest of one lemon, divided

Sauce:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more if you like lots of heat

1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

4 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 28-ounce and 1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes (San Marzano, if you can find them)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

Filling:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ large yellow onion, chopped

3-4 big handfuls fresh spinach, chopped

1 15 or 16 ounce container good quality ricotta cheese

1 egg, beaten

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 cup grated mozzarella

Additional:
About 25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells or lumache giganti (if you can find them)

½ cup freshly grated parmesan

A couple tablespoons sliced scallions, green part only

Lightly oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and sprinkle half the lemon zest over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook only about 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano and marjoram and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Set aside to cool.

For the filling, in a medium sauté pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach and cook several more minutes until spinach is wilted and soft. Set aside to cool a bit.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg, then add the ricotta and salt and mix to combine. Stir in the mozzarella and remaining lemon zest, followed by the onion-spinach mixture. Set aside.

Cook the shells according to package instructions the boiling, salted water until barely al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle.

Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the parmesan, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with sliced scallions. Serve hot.

Mushroom & Spinach Farro Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

Risotto Bowl
One of our favorite restaurants is the Chilkoot Café and Cyclery in Stillwater, MN. A charming neighborhood café, in a delightful, historic small town neighborhood. By day, it’s an order at the counter, freshly-roasted coffee, local scratch-made comfort food, mouthwatering dessert, and wood floor cozy place. In the evenings, they bring out the linens and offer table service, with a diverse menu. A nice wine list and truly quality tap beers round things out. And per the name, there’s also a small customer-focused bicycle shop onsite.

The food is always outstanding and in a recent menu change, they added a mushroom & farro risotto with seasonal vegetables. I’ve had it several times, and it’s one of those restaurant dishes that you crave for days afterward. After both Pete and I had this risotto Friday night, I started thinking about making my own version. I had farro on hand and picked up mushrooms, spinach and cauliflower at the store and got to work. The end result was exceptional, with Pete saying it was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made. With that kind of praise, how could I not share?

Because this takes a bit of time, it’s a recipe more suited for a special weekend dinner, like Valentine’s Day, perhaps. It does fall on a Saturday this year! Enjoy!
Risotto

 

Mushroom & Spinach Farro Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

1 cup  farro, soaked in cool water for 1 hour, then drained

½ cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic minced, divided

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided

1 ½ cup sliced cremini (baby portabella) mushrooms

A couple handfuls of spinach, chopped

¼ cup dry white wine

4-5 cups vegetable broth/stock

¼ cup grated parmesan

¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Roasted cauliflower (recipe follows)

1 teaspoon truffle oil

Salt & pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron or other heavy skillet. Add about 1 teaspoon butter. When melted, add half the garlic and the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms release their liquid. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Keep warm.

Heat broth/stock in a covered saucepan until simmering; then keep it at a simmer. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add onion and remaining garlic. Cook several minutes until onion starts to soften. Add drained farro and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is absorbed. Add broth, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring occasionally until broth is absorbed before adding the next cup of broth. Continue until broth is gone and farro is cooked. Reduce heat to low and stir in parmesan until melted. Stir in chopped parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add mushroom mixture and cauliflower. Drizzle with 1 tsp. truffle oil and stir. Serves two as a main course and 4 as a side dish.

Roasted Cauliflower

½ head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Toss cauliflower, garlic, and lemon juice in bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper. Roast on baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, until edges are browned and caramelized.

Vegetarian Tater Tot Hot Dish

Hot Dish plated
Before Friday, I had never eaten Tater Tot Hot Dish, and it was about as far from being on my list of “things to make someday” as leg of lamb–or leg of any other animal for that matter—it’s a vegetarian thing O_o.  But a few days before Thanksgiving, I got an email from my brother asking me to bring something to the day-after-Thanksgiving brunch they host during the annual Lukken-Making Extravaganza. His exact words were, “Maybe a Tater-Tot Hot dish or something??”

Was I reading correctly? My brother, the globe-trotting sophisticate, was asking for Tater Tot Hot Dish? At first I was going to write back and ask if that’s what he really meant. Then I started googling recipes, and decided to make this a personal challenge: Create a really great Tater Tot Hot Dish, loved by all in attendance, that was less artery-clogging than the recipes I was finding online; and the fact that it was vegetarian would be a non-issue.

For those of you not from the Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin area, “hot dish” is what pretty much the rest of the world calls a casserole.

The recipe settled upon to adapt comes from someone I admire a great deal, Senator Amy Klobuchar. She won a few years ago when Minnesota’s delegation in Washington had a hot dish competition. Starting with an award-winning recipe was smart!

To make it vegetarian, I substituted Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef (found in the refrigerated section) for the traditional hamburger. It’s one of the few meat substitutes I still use occasionally.

The original recipe called for a can each of condensed cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup. Knowing that Campbell’s has MSG, yeast extract and a few other ingredients I avoid, I looked at natural foods brands and found Pacific Organic Condensed Cream of Mushroom to be a much less processed alternative—basically contains only what would be in a homemade soup. Also, Trader Joe’s has a Condensed Cream of Portabella Mushroom I had used in recipes before, so I subbed that for the Cream of Chicken.

Around here, Ore Ida is probably the most-popular tater tot. Again, this brand has ingredients I avoid, like disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate and “natural flavoring” (which could be many things and oftentimes not vegetarian). There are several natural food brand versions of the tater tot—use your preference. I ended up with a combination of Alexia and Trader Joe’s—both have no scary additives.

To help keep the healthy concept in mind, I opted for the low end of the cheese range in the original recipe. It called for 8-12 ounces of pepper jack cheese and I used closer to 8. Not sure that pepper jack was the most kid-friendly variety, I subbed half with colby jack and it ended up still having a bit of a kick from the pepper jack without being too spicy for the kids.

I was nervous bringing an untested recipe for a group that included adult foodies, elementary school-aged kids, and a chic teenager, all with discerning tastes. I had to chuckle when my niece, knowing that hamburger is usually in Tater Tot Hot Dish, kept asking me what I was going to eat. I side-stepped the questions and after genuine comments of approval from all after the first few bites, I fessed up to Kimi that the hamburger was vegetarian (that in itself brought more questions!). It didn’t seem to matter—the entire dish was gone in short order. It was a huge success! My brother even asked for the recipe—not the original recipe—my version! It was at that point, I decided this was blog-worthy.

Having not taken photos of the original dish, I made another smaller batch today and notched up the health aspect a bit by adding a few big handfuls of chopped spinach and kale once the onion and garlic were cooked. For some reason, today’s version was even better and Pete and I really had to exercise restraint and not go back for thirds! I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine!
Kale, etcburger mixtureHot Dish unbakedHot Dish

Vegetarian Tater Tot Hot Dish

Adapted from Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking pan

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Chopped onion, about ½ of a large one

2 large or 3 small cloves garlic, minced

A couple big handfuls chopped spinach and kale

1 ½ package Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef (in refrigerated section)

Salt & Pepper

One 11 oz. box Trader Joe’s Condensed Cream of Portabella Mushroom Soup

One 12 oz. box Pacific Organic Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded (or half pepper jack and half colby jack)

Tater Tots (I used a combination of Alexia and Trader Joe’s brands)

Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. In a heavy pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Add the chopped spinach and kale and cook until greens wilt. Mix in the beef-less ground beef and continue cooking until heated through.

In a large bowl, mix together the beef-less mixture and the soups. Season with salt & pepper (you can make it up to this point the night before refrigerate until the next day). Spread mixture evenly over bottom of buttered pan. Cover with about half the shredded cheese. Place tater tots in one layer over the entire pan—squeeze in as many tots as you can.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Cover with remaining cheese and bake until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if using, before serving. Makes 6-8 adult-size servings, more if serving kid-size appetites.

Split Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Spinach over Brown Rice

Dal Soup
After a rainy, dreary day, I was thinking soup after work. A hearty soup, maybe earthy with lentils and spinach. Perusing a few cookbooks, I stumbled upon a red lentil soup that sounded wonderful—fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, and spiced up with red pepper flakes—the aroma practically floated off the page. After a quick pantry check, I found red split lentils (actually are more golden than red when cooked), which would cook even faster than whole lentils and dinner would be on the table that much quicker.

The recipe is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers by the Moosewood Collective. The Moosewood Collective is comprised of nineteen people who own and operate the iconic Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York. The restaurant, open since the early 1970s, is known for their vegetarian food and has amassed many accolades over the years, including James Beard Awards, and was named one of the most influential restaurants of the 20th century by Bon Appetite Magazine. In other words, they know what they’re doing.

Ladled over brown basmati rice and topped with chopped green onions, this dal soup will make your belly happy and your kitchen smell fabulous. Enjoy!

Split Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Spinach over Brown Rice


1 ½ cups split red lentils
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 ½ teaspoons fennel seeds
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh gingerroot
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup full-fat coconut milk

Cooked brown basmati rice
Sliced scallions, for garnish

Rinse the lentils, picking out any shriveled lentils or debris. Drain. Place lentils in a stockpot and add the teaspoon of salt and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat grapeseed oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, gingerroot and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Stir in the spinach and ½ teaspoon salt and cook just until spinach is wilted. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another minute. Remove from heat.

When lentils are cooked, add spinach-coconut milk mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Scoop hot brown rice into bowls and top with a couple ladles full soup. Sprinkle with chopped scallions. Makes 4-6 servings.

Spinach Eggs Benedict with Coral Pepper “Hollandaise”

Spinach Eggs Benedict
Even though Valentine’s Day is just one day, with it falling on a Friday this year, I say make it a weekend long celebration! To carry the festivities through to Saturday, Sunday or even Monday (if you’re fortunate to have off Presidents Day), here’s a great brunch recipe that conjures up the fanciness of Eggs Benedict minus a lot of the saturated fat and heaviness. Without that overstuffed feeling, you just may feel like venturing out for a post-brunch snowshoe or cross-country ski with your valentine(s).

Last Saturday we had a morning with no commitments so I decided to make something special for breakfast. Having never made hollandaise sauce, I googled some recipes. After only looking at a couple, with both calling for a full stick of butter, that idea was tossed. Then I remembered a sauce I’ve made before that’s much lighter, yet still flavor packed, and thought it would make a great hollandaise substitute. The sauce portion of the recipe is from a 2008 issue of local grocers Lunds and Byerly’s Real Food magazine. It’s extremely versatile; I’ve served it over crepes, frittatas, wild rice, potatoes, etc., plus it’s really delicious. As you can see from the photos, my sauce is more orange than coral in color, and that’s due to not having two red bell peppers on hand. I used one red and one orange—the taste is still divine!
PeppersSpinach

You’ll have more sauce than you need, so if you’re cooking for more than two, increase the other ingredients proportionately, but keep the sauce as is. Enjoy! And happy Valentine’s Day!! 

Spinach Eggs Benedict with Coral Pepper Hollandaise

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 large organic large red bell peppers, cut into 1” chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
½ cup water
1 ½ tablespoons butter or vegan, trans-fat free, margarine

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
A pinch or two of sea salt (smoked salt, if you’ve got it)
A couple splashes dry white wine
4 big handfuls of fresh spinach
Freshly ground black pepper

2 whole wheat English muffins, split and toasted
2-4 eggs
2 tablespoons white vinegar

Salt & pepper, to taste
A couple pickled peppadews, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)

To make coral pepper “hollandaise,” place pepper chunks, garlic slices, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer pepper mixture to a blender or food processor and add butter or margarine. Process until smooth. Return to saucepan and keep warm (you can also make this a day ahead of time and reheat just before serving).

In a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add shallots and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes until shallots have softened. Add a couple splashes white wine to pan and deglaze, scraping any brown bits from bottom of pan. Let wine reduce until it’s almost gone and add spinach. Add a few grinds of black pepper and stir. Continue cooking until spinach wilts.

To poach eggs, crack each egg into individual small bowls. Add the vinegar to a large saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Gently drop each egg from bowl into water. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover pot. Cook until eggs are done to your liking, 4-5 minutes for runny yolks, 6-7 minutes for a more solid yolk. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Top toasted (and buttered, if you like) English muffin halves with some of the spinach mixture. Place an egg (or eggs) over spinach. Drizzle with coral pepper “hollandaise.” Sprinkle with sliced, pickled peppadews (which I forgot to do before taking the photos, but they add a great piquant flavor!) Serves two.


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