Thursday, December 22, 2011

Eggs Benedict with Spinach & Pesto

This is my favorite breakfast! I definitely prefer savory breakfasts over sweet ones. This one even get's you two servings of vegetables in before lunch time!  Instead of including a slice of ham I substitute with sauteed spinach and a few slices of tomato. I also spread the english muffin with pesto instead of butter to add that fresh basil flavor. The hollandaise sauce and the runny egg are my favorite parts!

This recipe definitely takes some patience but I hope even the beginner can make it by following my steps below. It is definitely worth the time and effort!


This is a slightly complicated dish to make because you want all of your items hot at the same time. 
First prepare your cooking area. 

Materials & Utensils

Cookie Sheet
Sauce Pan
Small Glass {heat proof} Bowl
Medium Non-Stick Skillet
Slotted Spoon or Wok Strainer
Cutting Board

You will want to slice and set the eight english muffin halves on a cookie sheet and toast. You also may want to slice your tomatoes  & chives and get your pesto ready to spread at this point.
You will need a separate set up of a saucepan with a glass bowl on top to make the Hollandaise.
You will need a nonstick skillet to poach the eggs. 

{serves four}

4 English Muffins

8 Eggs

2 Tomatoes

4 cups Raw Spinach

1 TBS Olive Oil

1 tsp Salt

1 cup Fresh Pesto 
{I got mine at Costco}

1 TBS White Vinegar



Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks

10 TBS Butter
{cut into slices or cubes}

3 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

1 tsp Salt

{hot water on hand}

To Make

Stage 1:

English Muffins:
Toast the english muffin halves in the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the heat off and keep them in the oven to warm

Stage 2:

Saute spinach in nonstick skillet with olive oil and salt. Place all of the leaves in the skillet over medium heat. Place a lid on them and let them wilt. They will drastically reduce in size. Remove from skillet and set aside for serving. This whole process takes about 2 minutes.

Stage 3:

1.Start the Hollandaise sauce by adding about 1-2 inches of water into the bottom of saucepan. Bring water to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. 

2.Place egg yolks into bowl and whisk until they are slightly airy and lighten in color.

3.Place the bowl over the simmering water and continue to whisk for 3-5 minutes until they are thickened and almost doubled in volume.

4.Remove bowl from heat and whisk in the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Use immediately or keep over simmering water until ready to use. 

*Before you poach the eggs slice your tomatoes and spread each half of english muffin with pesto and set nearby. 

Stage 4:

Poached Eggs:

1. Fill non-stick skillet with 1-2 inches of water. Add a splash of vinegar.
2. Bring water to an "almost" simmer. Do not let it fully boil. You want the water to be at the place between simmer and boil.
3. Crack your eggs one at a time into small bowls. This makes it easier to drop into the water.
3. Once you reach the almost boiling stage use your slotted spoon or wok strainer to swirl the water.
5. Slide your egg out of the small bowl into the swirling water. 
6. Allow it to cook in the water for 3-4 minutes depending on how runny or hard you like your eggs. 
7. Remove with slotted spoon and place directly onto your prepared english muffins.
*You can poach more than one egg at a time if you have a large enough skillet to be more efficient.

Here is a great visual tutorial for poaching an egg. This is how I learned but slightly changed things up a bit. Once you learn you'll want poached eggs on everything!

Stage 5: 

You now have your english muffin, pesto, tomato, and egg ready to go. Whisk the hollandaise sauce again. If it is thick or clumpy add a few teaspoons of hot water (from your egg pan or pan below) and whisk to thin it out.
Spoon the Hollandaise sauce over the eggs and sprinkle with chives and paprika. 

Now you are ready to serve and enjoy! It's so delicious!

 All photos courtesy of Mary Banducci Photography

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