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Thursday
May062010

VEGETABLE EGGS BENEDICT 



She really is a character all of her own. My mom doesn't really fit a stereotype, so I'm at a loss of trying to put her in a box for you. She was the mom who took us running through golf course sprinklers, and drove the getaway car for my boy crazy girlfriends when we'd go toliet papering in high school. She dressed my sister and I up in her old clothes, and sent us out to make mud pies when the backyard was a mess after the rain. I mean pies actually made from mud- she's never been much for cooking, but she makes up for that in how fun she is. I may not have recipes for 'mom's biscuits', but I have vivid memories of my mom starting the dance party with paper plates as props at my first boy/girl party. I mean, anyone can find a biscuit recipe, but only my mom can party with plates. I was her cautious child, and she always tried to loosen me up... she still does, actually. There is that cliche that says 'you don't understand the depth of a mother's love, until you have children of your own'. I'm sure this is true, but my mom has made her love crystal clear to us. It is deep, really deep, and I know this from her actions. You can say 'i love you' a trillion times, but it's my late night teary phone calls, the articles she sends me in the mail, or helping me plant my herb garden that speak louder than words.

And just because someone doesn't like to cook, doesn't mean they don't like to eat, and my mom loves things with sauce. Food is just her vehicle for more sauce. This is a great mothers day brunch idea. I was inspired by a sauce recipe I found in the Golden Door Cooks at Home Cookbook. It blends up so quickly and tastes lighter than the typical hollandaise you find on an eggs benedict. As soon as you crack the yolk, it marries the bell pepper sauce and serves as the perfect dipping agent for the rest of the stack. If you are not one for poached eggs, you could substitute a fried egg or even a heap of scrambled eggs as an alternative. Experiment with whatever vegetables you have, as I imagine any sauteed green could be used instead of spinach or some caramelized onions or leeks would be wonderful too. For the record: A. This is my new favorite breakfast and B. I love you, Mom.

VEGETABLE EGGS BENEDICT // Makes 4
The sauce recipe is written using jarred roasted peppers. The yellow ones make a sauce that most resembles hollandaise. When bell peppers are sweet and in season near you, I am sure the flavor would be exceptional if you roasted them yourself. Though jarred will save you time regardless of the season. If you don't care for goat cheese, you could use cream cheese instead.

2 Whole Grain English Muffins
4 Large Eggs
5 Cups Fresh Spinach Leaves
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Zest of One Lemon
12 Spears of Asparagus
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Fresh Parsley for Garnish

// BELL PEPPER SAUCE //

1 1/4 Cup Roasted Bell Pepper Pieces, drained
3-4 oz. Chevre/Goat Cheese (richness to taste)
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
Splash of Hot Sauce
Salt/Pepper

Oven to 500'

1. Start with the sauce. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds. In a blender or food processor, combine the warm milk, goat cheese, mustard, lemon juice and the drained roasted bell peppers. Blend until smooth. Cover and set aside.
2. Warm the olive oil in the pan, add the fresh spinach and lemon zest and saute until just wilted. Turn off the heat and let it sit, it will stay warm enough while you finish everything else.
3. Toss the asparagus with a bit of olive oil, garlic salt and some fresh ground pepper. Put in the upper third of the oven for 8 minutes (this all depends on the thickness of your asparagus, alter your timing to get tender but not soggy spears).
4. Bring one quart water + 1 Tbsp. vinegar to a boil, then down to a simmer. This is your egg poaching liquid, there are good directions on how to poach eggs here. If you are doing them one at a time, you can keep them in a bowl with some of the warm poaching liquid until ready to use.
5. Toast the english muffins and get ready to go. Toasted muff+spoonful of sauce+sauteed spinach+asparagus spears, halved+poached egg+another spoonful or sauce+maybe a lovely fruit salad on the side=perfection.

References (5)

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Reader Comments (53)

My palate is singing after reading this post! A perfect meal that I will make tonight! So springy and delicious! I adore eggs! Thanks, Sara!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I've never been a fan of hollandaise, so I love the idea of making the sauce with peppers. And of course, I'm crazy about goat cheese with everything. Lovely!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

I loved the story of your mom. She sounds like a blast! This vegetable benedict looks absolutely beautiful.

Oh, your mother will start to cry when she reads that, it's beautiful!
Sounds great with the goat cheese bell pepper sauce instead of hollandaise, much tastier.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

This is my favorite post yet. Amazing, Sara!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

I love the way your write about your mom. Just beautiful! And this recipe looks fabulous--thanks for sharing!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

sara this is so beautiful. :)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkristine

man, this looks awesome. love the process photos of the egg poaching! i'm going pescaterian for may (not permanent!) so eggs benedict is perfect!

also, thanks for the birthday wishes :).

enjoy mother's day with your mom!

What a delicious recipe - your mom is a lucky woman, and it sounds like you are too. :)

Beautiful photos - thank you for sharing!

I loved what you wrote about your mom; I could feel the love coming through it. My mom happens to love eggs benedict, so this may just have to be what we have for brunch on Sunday. :)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

My mother has always, always loved eggs benedict - it has always reminded me of her. I won't be seeing her this mother's day, but I think I'll make this the next time we visit (and possibly for myself this weekend.) Thanks!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

I think my heart stopped. Not only from the guilt that I didn't do anything nearly this sweet for my mother this year, but because I love a good benny. And especially one that I can feel good about eating. Kudos! Going to try this weekend!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe French

Oh and thanks for the sweet comment and the tweet! You rock:)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe French

Uuuuuummmmmm!!! This looks amazing, Sara. I'm just waiting for Ava to be able to make it for me for Mother's Day... will you teach her that someday, please? :)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMollie

Too weird! I've been thinking about asparagus and eggs over whole wheat bread all day, and was planning on having it for dinner tonight! I never have been one for hollandaise, but your version sounds pretty dang delicious! And your mom sounds like loads of laughs and fun!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

yuuum! interesting replacement for the hollandaise; i will have to give it a try next time.

Oh I am so excited about this Sara! I have been thinking about a vegi eggs benedict and can't wait to try your sauce. And your mom sounds like an amazing person!

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfresh365

My Mom was the same way; telling off the usher in the movie theater who reprimanded me for laughing too hard at a movie, dancing in the rain (yes... A LOT!), picking up the whole chicken and making it dance across the kitchen counter, joining me in hysterical laughter. She was one of a kind too. And gone for nearly 16 years, a fact that I still often can't quite get my head around. You are blessed with a wonderful, quirky and loving parent. And with that recipe. It's stunning.

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Sara. (And Hugh.) Where to begin. Such a lovely tribute to a woman I would certainly like to meet. How lucky you are to have had a fun-loving mom. Mine is a good cook but I would not say she is fun-loving. At least, not in the mud pie/getaway car driving way. Also, I have been staring at these photos for five minutes. They are breathtaking. I am not a big sauce person, but I am totally going to use this idea. Hollandaise is so gloppy and rich but I'm sure this is beautiful and bright. Cheers to you both.

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Your photos are gorgeous and food looks delicious.

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSense of Home

Oh my, oh my, oh my! This looks incredible. Not being a huge fan of hollandaise, this caught my eye! Copying the recipe now into my recipe folder! :)

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Ward

Loved how you relate your recipes with stories, especially those that touched your heart, and life.

This looks amazing! I love the pepper sauce here. Sounds wonderful! Your mom sounds like an amazing lady. I'm sure she'll love your yummy benedict!

What a great idea. I love this and your mum sounds like great fun. My mum is the quiet one with a great big heart, always ready to help.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

Your mom is lucky to have you for a daughter, Sara...

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Leftoverist

My mom's exaclty the same. She doesn't like to cook. But i love watching her eat the stuff I make for her. :)

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShaheen

Oh my -- that looks and sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

i was crazy for this recipe before i even opened the page! i had a feeling you'd come up with a fresh new take on a classic, and yes! yes, you did! swooning. and i love that series of poaching photos.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarolyn

holy crap. that egg is poached to perfection. nice work.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramelia

As your godmother, I couldn't be prouder. I am salivating over your yummy recipes and crying over the story of your mother, my best friend of 45 years. Nice pics.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRita Gray Menzel

Gosh, I LOVE your recipes! And I'm so hungry right now. But that's not the reason. I really can't wait to try this.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterallison lemons

I was reading this & about halfway through I noticed a funny gurgling noise. It took me a few minutes to realise it was me drooling homer simpson style over this recipe. The bell pepper sauce sounds great.

Wow what a sweet ode to your awesome-sounding mom. Your take on eggs benedict looks amazing and the pictures...sigh...so gorgeous.

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWinnie

That looks so delicious, healthy and easy to make. It would be great breakfast food with coffee.

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Oh how I love eggs. I just can't get enough of them! And what a coincidence that I was planning to make poached eggs with asparagus TONIGHT. Incredible. Now I can adapt and use your recipe. :)

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Cilantropist

I LOVE eggs beni! and I love this healthier version of it! your mom and i would be pals....i love sauce...the more the sauce the happier the coco :)

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCoco @ Roost

Lovely posting, both your words and photos. To hear you describe yourself as the "cautious child" put a big smile on my face. I'm my mother's only child, but she's often referred to me as "cautious" too.

p.s. I love the carrots in the previous post too! You take some of the most beautiful food photography I have ever seen!

What a tribute, what a gal! (And what a sauce! I happen to have the last of last summer's roasted peppers in the freezer, hmm....)

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Your writing skills are somehow just as beautiful and poetic as your photography. I'm simply blown away at the beauty of this post and of course, I cannot wait to make this recipe. A+++!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

It seems you lucked out in the mom department! And she lucked out with your vegetable eggs benedict--looks wonderful.

this is the sweetest post, sara. and looks sooooo good -- i love eggs benedict but the sauce is always a bit too rich for me, so this sounds perfect!

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

There is just something crazy mesmerizing about eggs. So simple, yet elegant and profound. Gorgeous.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

I have a new suitor who hates runny eggs so I was all set to just dream of this meal. But the scrambled egg suggestion is a good one, and I have english muffins and spinach in the fridge. Ready, set, go!

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

eggs benedict are so yummy! and these look sooo good. I can't wait to try this.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKat Braman

showing mark the site. he looked at this one and said, "that looks so damn good, can you make that sometime?" we're loving what you and hugh have been creating!

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Coon

This looks AMAZING! So excited to have found your blog.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterg

such beauty!! love love love the pics.

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterashley k

Gorgeous pictures - and the sauce sounds amazing. I am definitely going to try it. Here's my trick for poaching eggs perfectly: Hold the whole egg in the simmering water (I use a big metal spoon, not my fingers) for 10 seconds before cracking and slipping the egg into the water. This enables the whites of the egg to cook slightly and to better hold together.

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

i want to try this one day :))

xo.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertiffany.

this looks delicious- I'm a bit intimidated by the process of poaching the eggs, but I will have to give it a try!

June 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGabrielle

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