There is a small miracle in the number of things that grow well together, taste good together, and are good for you together. Corn and beans, tomatoes and basil, broccoli and cheese, turmeric and pepper…
Spinach and lemon juice join the list. I first had very lemony mushrooms and spinach at The Gun Shop Cafe in Brisbane many years ago, and it was one of those simple but sensational dishes that brilliant chefs make. It’s not co-incidental that they are in season together – simple dishes depend on fresh, perfect, in season ingredients. Neither is it co-incidental that they are so good for you in combination – our ancestors who liked the taste of things that kept them healthy got to live to be our ancestors! It all makes sense, but it still feels like such a nice little miracle .
The hollandaise sauce looks so decadent, but it truly takes just 2 minutes to make and has just a teaspoon of butter per serve. It’s a very tasty way to add a bit of protein to the breakfast. I’m harvesting the first of the season’s spinach now, rich in antioxidant beta carotene, iron and folic acid, and the lemon in the recipe makes the iron available. Mushrooms are loaded with dietary fiber and a good source of potassium, copper, selenium, and B vitamins. Put it on homemade sourdough and you’re set.
(The Breakfast Cereal Challenge is my 2011 challenge – a year’s worth of breakfast recipes based on in-season ingredients, that are quick and easy enough to be a real option for weekdays, and that are preferable, in nutrition, ethics, and taste, to the overpackaged, overpriced, mostly empty packets of junk food marketed as “cereal” . The Muesli Bar Challenge was my 2010 Challenge.)
This recipe makes two good serves.
Put some good wholegrain sourdough on to toast.
Then start with the hollandaise.
Melt a dessertspoon of butter in a small pot. Take care not to brown it.
Use a blender, stick blender or a whisk to blend together 1 egg, three dessertspoons of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
With the blender going, pour the hot butter very slowly into the egg and lemon mix. It should go thick and creamy. If it isn’t thick enough, pour back into the small pot and heat, stirring, for just a few seconds. It will turn almost instantly.
Now on to the mushrooms and spinach.
Heat a little olive oil in a heavy pan till it is quite hot. Then add 300 grams of sliced mushrooms (about 10 medium mushrooms). You can add a clove of crushed garlic if you like.
Cook for a minute till the mushrooms start to brown then add two cups of baby spinach leaves, or larger spinach leaves roughly chopped, along with a little squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Cook for just a minute more until the spinach wilts.
Pile the mushrooms and spinach on the toast and top with a good dollop of hollandaise.