Somehow there was a plant out in the garden that I had no idea what it was. I got it back when we hosted the garden exchange back in November, but somehow I’d completely forgotten what it was – and it was getting big. So I did a little google search to figure it out. The result? Mustard Greens. I guess that never came to mind as an option because the leaves look very different from those of Wild Mustard, which is growing abundantly on the hills right now. But there the mustard greens are, and looking like they needed eating.
Our schedules have been busy and hectic lately, so I haven’t been spending as much creative dinner time in the kitchen as I’d like to. And a survey of the garden the other morning surprised me with the abundance of available and ready-to-eat vegetables I have- some staples that can be grazed upon on an as-needed basis (onions, celery, herbs, carrots), and others that need to be harvested veryverysoon. Like those mustard greens. (As well as the beets, broccoli, lettuce, and fennel…)
A recipe came to me that I haven’t made in quite some time, but that I really liked. It is from Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook that I have mentioned before. Her Poached Eggs on a bed of Vegetables is fairly versatile, which is always good when you’re cooking seasonally. I’ve seen another version of this in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle as Eggs in a Nest. Either way, its basically a pan-ful of fresh veggies with poached eggs. I chose to serve mine with roasted rosemary potatoes (oh yeah, we harvested a few potatoes this weekend too!), but a side of grains or some crusty bread would also work well.
Eggs in a Nest
1 cup chopped onion (I used 6 spring onions)
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 handfuls chopped fresh greens (spinach, escarole, chard, kale, or mustard greens)
squeeze of lemon
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 medium tomato diced)
salt and pepper
cayenne (optional. the mustard greens were so spicy I chose not to use it)
Other optional vegetable add-ins: mushrooms, bell pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes over medium heat. Add the broccoli and salt, and cook for 3-5 minutes more until broccoli is bright green and just tender.
Add garlic and greens. Cook and stir for just a few minutes, until greens are just wilted. Season to taste with cayenne (any green but mustard greens) and lemon juice. Stir in the tomato.
Indent four little beds in the greens for the eggs. Break the eggs into their nests, cover the pan, and poach about 5 minutes over medium heat – until the eggs are set to your taste. Grind some black pepper on top, and serve!
** I recently made this again lately, on a much simpler scale. I chopped a big bunch of chard (kale would also work), and sauteed some green onions and the chard stems with a bit of garlic. Then I added the chard, cooked for a few minutes, and made the little dents for the eggs. Much milder than the mustard greens – and easier to assemble from fewer ingredients!