There is beauty in the poaching of an egg, in the way it swirls gently into togetherness. Water as land. Vinegar as air.
Watch it. See how it starts out. Timid, first. Invisible, extant only by way of the bright yellow orb at its center.
Drop! In the water, a ghostly, whirling specter as it colors itself in to visibility. There is some anxiety; will it break apart into loose messes and threads? The simmer sounds sinister, too hot to form the silky white, the viscous yolk you dream of. Here is where you let the heat take you, form you, mold you. Or, here is where you let it break you.
If the heat has broken you: deep breaths. Start over.
If the heat has re-imagined you: look! A poached egg, quivering lightly at the bottom of the pot, waiting to be released from the confines of water, wanting to breathe its air. You did it!
From nothing to something. A confident sphere of egg, a hearty piece of toast, a gathering of the season’s greenest. A squeeze of lemon, crackles of pepper so strong you will sneeze. Symphony. Harmony. Chemistry.
There is beauty in everything, you know. Even in poached eggs. Even in avocado toast.
Yields: 1 or 2 servings, easily doubled
Why I love this recipe: bringing the water to a boil then down to a simmer makes it a perfect temperature- not too cold so that the egg separates and not too hot so that the yolk overcooks. Swirling the water with a wooden spoon 15 times before dropping the egg in creates a whirlpool environment for the egg to set in a round shape, instead of the whites feathering out, and adding a bit of vinegar helps the whites set even faster. 3 minutes of cooking time yields a luscious runny, yolk, and set atop lemony avocado toast, beside some of the season’s best vegetables, it’s a clean, refreshing breakfast.
For the poached eggs:
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
For the avocado toast + vegetables:
- 1 slice hearty whole grain sourdough bread
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 2-3 stalks trimmed asparagus, sliced in half lengthwise and horizontally
- 1/4 cup fresh peas
- Fill a saucepan with water and add the vinegar. Put on the stove and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile toast the bread lightly. Mash the avocado and season with the salt, lots of pepper, and most of the lemon juice.
- Spread the avocado on the toasted bread. Slice the bread in half on a diagonal slant. Place on a plate.
- In a frying pan, heat a little olive oil and toss in the asparagus and peas. Let cook, on medium heat, for 5-6 minutes. Top the toast with the vegetables and scatter with sprouts.
- Now, poach the eggs: crack an egg into a small bowl so it is easier to transfer into the water. Stir the boiling water vigorously with a spoon 15 times to get a swirling clockwise motion in the water.
- Drop the egg right into the center. It should drop straight to the bottom and remain relatively still. Lower the heat to a simmer. Set a timer for 3 minutes then remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the second egg.
- Place one egg on each piece of toast, season with more salt, pepper and top with radish slices. Dollop a bit of pesto on each half of toast and add more sprouts, radishes and peas as needed. Serve immediately.