You can do better than just scrambled.
The other morning I pulled down the egg carton and went to grab a couple to make for breakfast. Stuck to one of the brown eggs was a small feather; a morning reminder of where these food staples come from. At least I could be pretty sure that my breakfast came from a happy hen.
An egg is a beautiful thing, and if you’re lucky enough to be housing your own chickens, collecting them yourself is even better.
Eggs have become a staple in our diets, but just like with our produce and our protein, it’s important to think about what we’re eating. In 2010 a TIME Magazine article came out stating that buying organic eggs wasn’t really worth the effort, creating a discussion of the merits of organic vs. non-organic eggs. Ultimately, eggs are just like everything else we eat: the closer to the source you can get it, the better. Know your farmer, know your chickens, know your eggs.
If you have mastered the art of backyard homesteading, and designed your own chicken coop (built it out of reclaimed materials, of course), then you’ll know that sometimes it’s hard to get through all of those eggs. You can only scramble and fry for so long before it gets boring. To help solve that problem, here are 10 simple yet creative egg dishes to make good use of your eggs, whether they’re from your backyard, the neighbor down the road, or the farmers market.
1. Baked Egg in Avocado
It’s healthy, easy to make, and most importantly, a visually striking dish. Baking an egg in an avocado is as easy as cutting an avocado in half, scooping out a little bit of the middle to make room for the egg, cracking an egg into each half, garnishing with whatever ingredients you see fit, and baking in the oven at 425F for 15-20 minutes. We like ours with parsley and goat cheese.
2. French Toast Egg Nests
This beautiful breakfast is accented with a hint of mint, making it the perfect weekend brunch option.
3. Poached Eggs with Goat Cheese
If eggs are a regular part of your diet, consider buying a silicone egg poacher. It makes poaching eggs simple and quick, and allows you to add a new method of cooking to your egg repertoire. Easy yet delicious breakfast: buy a spreadable goat cheese, and serve it on toast with the poached egg on top. Sprinkle with black pepper and salt. Add in a few basil leaves if you have them on hand. Avocado toast with poached eggs is delicious as well.
4. Fried Egg with Kale
Kale and eggs might in fact be the ultimate combination, both in taste and color. Take about 3 kale stalks, remove the stems and tear the kale into small pieces. Sautee in olive or coconut oil for 3-4 minutes. Push the kale to the sides to create a free space in the middle of the frying pan, and crack an egg into it. Fry the egg according to how runny you want it. Sprinkle with black pepper and sea salt.
This recipe is an excellent way to use leftover meat or beans, and gives you a versatile dish that’s as good for breakfast as it is for lunch.
These German egg noodles are fun to make and delicious in stews or simply baked in the oven and topped with cheese.
7. Bacon Cups
The ultimate in brunch food, bacon cups are made by lining a muffin tin with bacon strips (organic and local of course) and popping an egg into each. If you want the vegetarian version, line the tins with roasted pepper and basil instead – maybe even some kale. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or so, depending on how firm or runny you like your yolks.
One of Julia Child’s most renowned recipes, clafoutis is a basic French dessert made with eggs, milk, and flour traditionally made with cherries that that can be tweaked depending on what fruits and berries you have on hand. Pear Clafoutis, Blackberry Clafoutis, Plum Clafoutis, Fig and Anise Clafoutis… they are all good and it’s an easy recipe to alter to fit gluten free needs.
9. Lemon Curd
The combination of smooth, creamy curd with the intense flavor of citrus is one that is hard to turn down. Lemon curd is actually easier to make than most people think, and just requires having a lot of egg yolks on hand. Once again it’s a basic recipe that you can embellish upon; Heidi Swanson’s Ginger Grapefruit Curd is a personal favorite.
10. Potato, Red Pepper and Feta Frittata
Frittatas are good as breakfast, lunch or dinner, and once again you have a dish that you can alter as you see fit. This recipe for one with potatoes, red pepper and feta is a simple and basic one to start with.
Images: Anna Brones, Aylin Erman, Vanessa Barrington