Thursday, March 27, 2014

Roast Veggies with Poached Egg

These vegetables are roasted to bring out their sweetness. They're served sprinkled with fresh herbs, then topped with a poached egg. When the egg is cut open, the yolk becomes the dressing for the vegetables. If you want your yolk to ride high, and be a bright orangey yellow color, use the freshest and most natural eggs you can find. The eggs I used in this recipe were a gift from friends, Helen and Gordon, who have chickens in their back yard. Their chickens enjoy a healthy, varied diet, and you can't get much fresher than eggs that are laid in the morning and harvested in the afternoon. If you don't have your own chickens, or know someone who does, look for eggs at the farmer's market. Also, eggs come with expiration dates these days (what a concept!). Eggs may keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, but they taste and look best when fresh!


1 butternut squash, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed
1 red pepper, halved, seeded, then cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
1/2 sweet onion, sliced lengthwise into 8 pieces
8 mushrooms, halved
1 turnip, peeled, then cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and oregano)
4 eggs

Heat the oven to 425F. Prepare all of the vegetables. Place the squash quarters in the microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes. Turn, then heat again for an additional 2 minutes. Prepare a large cooking sheet by covering with aluminum foil, then spraying with olive oil. Place the partially cooked squash, along with the remaining vegetables on the cooking sheet. Spray the vegetables with more oil. Roast for 10 minutes, turn the vegetables, spray with more oil, then continue roasting for an additional 10 minutes. Poach the eggs while the vegetables are roasting.

To poach eggs, fill a sauté pan with water to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a simmer. Break each egg into a bowl to check for soundness (you'll know if you get a bad egg - they stink!), then carefully slide the egg into the water. Continue with the remaining eggs. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until the whites are set, but the yolk is still soft and liquid.

To serve, arrange 1 piece of squash, along with 1/4 of each of the remaining vegetables on a plate. Sprinkle with the herbs. Top each plate with an egg, then a grind of salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Topping vegetables with poached eggs is a way to increase protein, as well as to change the taste and texture of the vegetables. The soft, runny yolk adds a smoothness to the vegetables that makes them better than their sum. If you like eggs, you'll be sure to enjoy this one! If you need more substance with this meal, add a piece of whole grain bread or roll.

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