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Sometimes it takes the simplest of meals to remind you what real, good food actually is. I had this revelation last night as I tucked into my dinner for one of scrambled eggs on toast.
Mr Rigg was away for the night and my dinner choice was based on the fact that I really couldn’t be arsed to make anything more just for myself. We have a lovely farm up the road who produce organic eggs, so I always have a large tray of their eggs on hand for quick meals.
This time I had treated myself to some of their white Leghorn eggs, which I scrambled in my own sweet fashion – melt a healthy amount of raw butter in a saucepan, crack the eggs directly into the hot butter without whisking prior (I had two whole eggs and an extra yolk). Next I turn the heat down and let the eggs cook a little in the butter without touching them, then I use a spoon to break them up. This way you end up a mixture of quite distinct ‘white’ and ‘yolk’ but also some standard pale yellow scramble as well.
I considered skimming some cream off the top of our raw milk to add to the pan of eggs, cream in scrambled eggs is divine – don’t bother with milk! Anyway, that seemed like too much effort, so I just seasoned with salt and pepper and added generous amounts of snipped mint and chives from the garden, plus some pretty purple chive flowers.
It has been ages since I last posted a recipe – as a result I can’t remember what I’ve been eating over the past few months and I don’t have the notes written down anywhere to recreate anything nice that we made. Last night’s dinner was worth finding some time to sit down and share it with you – I could have eaten platefuls.
To start with, there was scrambled eggs on lightly toasted bread. I like to make my scrambled eggs by melting butter in a pan, cracking in the eggs, letting them cook a little before breaking them up a bit, letting them cook some more, stirring, and so on. This produces a scrambled egg with bits of white and yolk rather than just a uniform pale yellow version.
I also fried some pieces of streaky bacon, before using the same pan to whistle up a warm tomato dressing. I didn’t tip away the bacon fat, instead I chopped up the tomatoes and tipped them into the hot fat, cooking them quickly so until they almost disintegrated. To the tomatoes, I added salt and pepper, and a tiny splash of sherry vinegar.
So, to buttered toast I added the scrambled eggs and popped the crispy bacon bits on top. Then I realised that I hadn’t stirred my chopped garden chives through the egg, so resolved to sprinkle them on to at the end. I spooned over the warm tomato dressing, and topped it off with a good handful of chopped chives and purple chive flowers.
I just love the colours as well – it’s like summer on a plate. This will be one version of scrambled eggs that I won’t be forgetting soon and will definitely make again.
Tonight we had to make something quick as Mr Rigg was heading out for a bike ride with Buddy. So I made our favourite scrambled eggs on delicious Campanou bread (a French country style loaf) from Barbakan.
I boiled some asparagus, fried mushrooms in butter and added some pretty pink thyme flowers, before lightly frying the asparagus in the mushroom pan to give it a bit of glisten! All on top of the scrambled eggs and soft bread it was lovely.
There is something so lovely and comforting about being able to wander to the bottom of your own garden and pick something for dinner. Last night I decided to pick some of the yellow sunburst squash that I have growing in my vegetable patch.
These UFO shaped squash are so pretty – although mine are looking a bit sorry for themselves. They’ve started to rot a bit where the flower blossomed with all this rain we’ve had recently. Also, the ones I usually see in my local grocery are much more yellow – mine are a bit pallid!
None-the-less they taste lovely. So I picked a few and brought them inside to be eaten within half an hour of picking – now that’s pretty special. Beat that supermarket giants!
For tea we had scrambled eggs on toasted bagel with garlic fried squash, oregano flowers and Gruyère. Fresh flavours and very tasty – and I love the yellow from the eggs and squash flecked with the purple from the oregano flowers.
Scrambled eggs on toasted bagel with garlic fried squash, oregano flowers and Gruyère
A couple of small yellow sunburst squash
2-3 cloves of garlic
5 medium eggs
Handful of oregano flowers and leaves
Heat a frying pan with some olive oil. Finely chop the garlic and add to the pan – softening it gently.
Thinly slice the squash and add to the garlic. Fry until soft and starting to turn a little golden and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, make your scrambled eggs – here’s how I make mine.
Put your bagels on to toast and butter them once they’re ready.
Add the oregano leaves to the scrambled eggs, mix together, then spoon over the bagels.
Take your fried squash and place on top of the eggs and grate over some Gruyère cheese.
Finally, sprinkle over some oregano flowers and eat!
Dinner last night – scrambled eggs my way with a generous amount of garden grown herbs (chives, mint, parsley, oregano, and chive flowers) on a fresh bagel with lettuce, homegrown rainbow radishes and a mustard vinaigrette.
Simple but so, so tasty! Part of my attempt to eat as much seasonal asparagus as possible!
Asparagus and scrambled egg on bagel
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and pop in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for between 7-10 minutes until tender. My asparagus came from Kenyon Hall Farm.
Cook the scrambled eggs your own way, or you could try ‘my perfect scrambled eggs‘ just omit the chives. Be sure to use the best eggs you can get hold of – organic, free range, woodland, home laid – this will make all the difference to the taste of your scrambled eggs. Mine came from Abbey Leys and were corkers!
If your bagel is super fresh from a deli or bakery (mine came from the Barbakan) you could just eat it fresh, sliced in half and lightly buttered. If not, toast it before buttering.
Pop the buttered bagel on a plate. Spoon over the scrambled egg. Top with the grilled asparagus.
Mr Rigg ate his asparagus with a fried egg and crisp streaky bacon instead. So many options! All delicious!
Who could image that just two ingredients – egg and butter – could create such a delicious, moreish meal? N was anti-scrambled egg when I first met him. After finally managing to get him to try a mouthful of my scrambled egg, he can now be heard asking for it without any prompting at all!
Scrambled egg on toast, made with love and care, and not cooked to within an inch of its life, should not be dismissed purely as a side to a fried breakfast. Scrambled egg on toast can make a scrumptious and filling meal all by itself – at least in my opinion.
Using high quality eggs is essential for producing the tastiest scrambled egg possible. Organic, free range, rare breed/heritage or woodland eggs are your best bet. Or if you’re lucky enough to have your own chickens, home produced. We used free range organic eggs from Abbey Leys Farm.
Now I never really understood why recipes call for a ‘heavy based’ pan, but for scrambled egg it really makes a difference. If you use one that has a thin base (like my cheapo supermarket milk pan that I still have from university) then the egg at the bottom cooks too quickly and can burn and stick to the pan. A pan with a thicker base will cook the egg slower and more gently.
So, to make my scrambled egg I melt a good sized knob of butter in a heavy based saucepan. When the butter has melted and starts to gently bubble I crack in my eggs. Please note, I do not whisk up my eggs and pour them into the pan. I simply crack the whole eggs directly into the pan.
Now, the important bit – allow the eggs to cook everso slightly. You can burst the yolks if you like, but try and let the white, well turn white – like when you fry and egg. Now, give it a gentle mix (I used a metal spoon). Then let it cook some more. Then another gentle mix.
By adding the eggs whole to the pan, and gently breaking them up as they cook results in a chunky scrambled egg where some bits are white, some bits are golden, and some are milky yellow combination of the two. I think it makes for a much more interesting scrambled egg rather than one uniform taste and texture.
Have the heat on about a medium, but if the egg starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, remove it from the heat briefly and continue mixing. I do this back and forward, on and off the heat until it reaches the texture I like.
I like my scrambled eggs moist but not too runny, and certainly not dried out. The egg should slide off the spoon, not plop off like lumps of jelly. I know everyone has their own preferences, but if you usually cook your scrambled egg a bit longer, just try it more moist, just once. When I first tried cooking scrambled egg like this I couldn’t believe how different it tasted.
Once the egg is cooked, stir in a good grinding of black pepper and salt to taste. As with most food, I tend to be a purist and refuse to add too many embellishments, but yesterday I added some freshly snipped chives from the garden. Chives are an ideal paring for egg and provided an interesting taste addition to our scrambled egg.
Butter some slithers of toast and spoon the scrambled egg over the top.
My perfect scrambled egg
Serves 2 for lunch
A knob of butter
In a heavy based saucepan melt a good sized knob of butter over a medium heat. When it starts to bubble crack the eggs into the pan.
Allow the eggs to cook a little before bursting the yolks and giving them a gentle mix. Leave again to cook a little, and then mix gently. If the egg starts to stick to the bottom, remove from the heat and mix. Keep the egg mixture moving, but do so gently until it reaches a moist sloppy consistency.
Stir in some ground black pepper and salt to taste. If you are using chives, snip into the egg and mix.
Spoon the scrambled egg over a couple of slices of buttered toast.