Featured Recipe: Fried Eggs with Garlicky Chard and Saffron-Red Pepper Hollandaise
Here is another recipe created by my friend Matthew Card. It’s a riff on eggs Florentine (eggs Benedict but with spinach instead of Canadian bacon or ham) and, like every dish he makes, it is turbocharged with flavor. It would also be delicious with any of the other sauces in this chapter, so feel free to experiment.
Avoid using a hard-crusted bread here. If you can’t find focaccia, substitute something tender and flavorful, such as brioche or a soft Italian loaf. Peppadew peppers, which originated in South Africa, are sweet, tangy, and only modestly hot. They are pickled and sold in jars in the deli section of well-stocked grocery stores.
- Kosher salt
- 1 large bunch Rainbow or Bright Lights Swiss chard (12 oz/340 g), leaves and stems separated and stems cut crosswise into slices ¼ in/6 mm thick
- 4 tbsp/60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of Espelette pepper or red pepper flakes
- ½ cup/80 g thinly sliced jarred roasted red pepper
- 4 tsp minced pickled Peppadew pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 4 pieces focaccia, toasted
- 1 cup/240 ml Saffron–Red Pepper Hollandaise
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chard leaves (not the stems) and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse well with cold water, and squeeze out as much excess water as possible. Chop coarsely and set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 6 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and Espelette pepper and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the cooked chard leaves, roasted pepper, and Peppadew pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the flavors are blended and the chard is hot, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover to keep warm. Do not rinse the pan.
Break each egg into a small teacup. Return the frying pan to low heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Carefully slide the eggs from the teacups into the pan so they stay whole. Season them with salt, cover the pan, and cook until the eggs are just set, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place a piece of focaccia on each plate, divide the chard mixture evenly among the focaccia, top with an egg, and then spoon a generous blanket of the warm hollandaise over the top. Serve right away.
"Food writer, editor, and Paris-trained chef Holmberg (Crepes) believes sauces are an integral part of everyday cooking. With these 100-plus recipes, organized by ingredient and method (e.g., Vinaigrettes, Chocolate Sauces), she shows readers that sauce-making doesn't have to be tedious. In a clear and encouraging voice, she explains how to season, store, portion, and improvise on classic sauces that elevate such dishes as Fried Eggs with Garlicky Chard and Saffron-Red Pepper Hollandaise and Simple and Delicious Enchiladas. VERDICT Easily Holmberg's best cookbook to date, this uses delicious recipes-like the outstanding Rice Pudding with Cardamom Meringues, Lime Crème Anglaise, and Chunky Mixed-Berry Coulis-to put essential skills in context." - Library Journal
"Here's a book you'll use every day whether you're tossing together a quick salad or creating a dessert for a gala. Martha Holmberg's truly modern (read: simple, fast and tasty) sauces pump up the flavor and excitement of every dish. Think of these sauces as a culinary bag of tricks . I do." - Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table