For perfect poached eggs, you need very fresh eggs. You can add vinegar to the water, get it swirling into a little whirlpool, do whatever you like, but you won’t get perfect poached eggs without very fresh eggs. Fresh eggs cook in one little mound with the white all staying together and a yolk that is high and has a glaze of white over it. The white sets while the yolk is still runny. If your eggs are more than a couple of days old, boil or scramble them instead. It just won’t do it.
From then on, it’s just a matter of a good sourdough toast to put it on (sorry, the infatuation with sourdough means serious contenders for the The Breakfast Cereal Challenge still have to go on top of sourdough). Then they just need a bed.
And we are harvesting the first of the season’s silver beet, which are the perfect bed for poached eggs. Silver beet is a superfood, very high in antioxidant beta carotene, which helps protect against all sorts of chronic diseases due to cell damage, including sun damaged skin. It’s also a very good source of folic acid, which is good for the immune and nervous systems. And it’s good for iron (specially if served with a good source of Vitamin C – hence some cherry tomatoes on the side) which helps red blood carry oxygen, which stops you feeling tired and run down.
And best of all, silver beet and white cheese like cottage cheese, ricotta or feta are just meant for each other.
Strip the silver beet leaves off the stalks and blanch for a couple of minutes in boiling water. Drain very well, pressing down to squeeze out excess moisture.
Put them in a blender or food processor with a spoonful of white cheese and, unless you are using a salty cheese like feta, a pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, put some bread on to toast and break two very fresh eggs into a fry pan full of gently boiling plain water. Put a lid on the pan and poach for a couple of minutes until the white is set.
Serve with chopped cherry tomatoes, both for the flavour and because the vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron from the silver beet.
Sally forth into the day feeling as invincible as Pop-eye!