Soft-scrambled eggs are my new butter. They’re my new ricotta. They’re my new avocado smeared onto toast, so in fashion today. How exactly do you soft-scramble eggs to a creamy, curd-like consistency? Softly. And slowly. It’s about as easy said as it is done.
I can appreciate that when I’m making a small weekend breakfast, or snack before dashing out the door. The slower process really slows me down, letting me enjoy the simple act of cooking deliberately, yet not laboriously or for a long time. You have to pay attention; letting down your guard may wind you up with just scrambled eggs, which we’ve had plenty of before. But a simple change in ideal outcome makes you take notice of each step.
Top it with some flecks of grated parmesan and a twist of black pepper. It almost resembles mealy polenta, with its drooling consistency. Add any vegetable that you please for contrast (in the summer, some diced fresh tomato, perhaps). This weekend it was spinach, the warbled, wintery type that has lasted through frost but tastes sweeter in the end. This takes even less time to wilt in a pan first than the eggs.
Get some bread you really enjoy as toast, and warm it meanwhile. Smell its sugars browning on the pan as it crisps up. Then, just stir your eggs. Reduce the heat and stop if must be. Then stir some more. Stir and cook it until it almost resembles polenta (but takes much less time than cornmeal). Sure, you can poach an egg for breakfast, but a soothing change of pace is always nice.
Soft-Scrambled Eggs and Spinach on Toast
(makes 1 serving)
1 slice bread, toasted
1 large fistful fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
1-2 teaspoons finely grated parmiggiano-reggiano (or other aged cheese)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil or butter in a skillet. Add the spinach along with a pinch of salt and pepper and gently sautee until thoroughly wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a bowl.
Turn off heat and wipe down skillet. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and oil and once melted, add the eggs. Stir about 1 minute, then turn on heat to very low. Continue stirring, scraping up any pieces just as they begin to set, for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture resembles cottage cheese.
Place the cooked spinach on the toast and cover with the soft-scrambled eggs. Grate the cheese on top and follow with the optional nutmeg. Serve immediately.
(for 1 serving)
1 slice bread: $0.25
2 eggs (at $5/dozen): $0.82
1/2 bunch fresh spinach: $1.25
2 tablespoons oil: $0.25
salt, pepper, dash of nutmeg, 1 tablespoon grated cheese: $0.50
Five brownie points: You’ve got fats and protein from the eggs, and lots of vitamins from the spinach for a well-balanced few bites as a snack or small breakfast. If you’re a fan of runny eggs, then soft-scrambling shouldn’t worry you any more than runny poached or sunny side-up eggs. But make sure you don’t eat your soft-cooked eggs out for long before eating, to avoid inviting bacteria.
Seven maple leaves: This is an all-seasons recipe, as long as rough, winter spinach is available locally. Nowadays, it’s easy to find eggs from a reputable source locally, and they’re a good substitute for more meaty choices if you’re looking for a little richness and protein.