Cook: Poached Eggs with Ramps, Bacon, and Beans

Ramps are wild leeks, found only in spring and usually only at farmers markets.  I picked some up at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday and decided to saute them with bacon and butter beans, topped with a poached egg, over toasted sourdough bread (also from the Greenmarket).  The result was a complex layering of flavors, perfect for a hearty Sunday brunch (but the recipe only takes 15 minutes to make!).

Poached Eggs with Ramps, Bacon, and Beans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 2

4 eggs (freshness is key - see notes)
Sourdough bread
1 bunch ramps
3 strips bacon, diced
1 cup butter beans (about 0.5 of a 15oz can, drained and rinsed)
olive oil
salt and pepper

(1) Fill a wide, shallow pot with about 2" of water, add 1 tbsp salt and set over medium heat - do not boil

(2) Crack each egg into a separate small bowl or coffee cup

(3) Saute bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally

(4) Slice the bread into four 1" thick slices

(5) Prep the ramps: thoroughly wash, cut off the bottoms, cut the non-leafy parts into a small dice and the leafy parts into 1" long pieces

(6) After bacon sautes for about 4-5 minutes add the non-leafy parts of the ramps

(7) When water is just below a boil (about 190 degrees), slowly slide each egg into the water; gently scoop the egg white to cover the yolk of each egg - do not let water boil

(8) Brush bread with olive oil and broil, turning as needed to toast evenly

(9) Add beans and green sections of ramps to bacon along with 1 tbsp olive oil, saute until ramps are wilted, stirring frequently

(10) After eggs have simmered for about 4 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel

(11) Cut a hole in the center of each piece of bread

(12) Fill with ramp mixture, top with an egg, and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper

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What was cooking this time last year?

Notes: When poaching eggs, the freshness of the egg is key, since fresher eggs have a stronger yolk membrane and a thicker white, so they maintain their shape better in the water.  When looking for fresh eggs at the supermarket, don't pay attention to the sell by date - look at the number printed on the side of the carton (between 1 and 365) - this is the day of the year that the hen laid the eggs.  The higher the number, the fresher the eggs - for example, today is day 122 of the year, so the closer the carton number is to 122, the fresher the eggs will be.  It is important to not boil the egg-poaching water; boiling water is too turbulent and will break up the egg.

1 comment:

Celia said...

Those ramps look gorgeous - especially done up brunch-style. I totally need to hit the market up - and early enough to get me some rhubarb (which was sold out yesterday when I wandered over at 3 PM after a corporations final)...Lovely dish; hope you're well!

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