Here’s my rendition of Eggs Benny I enjoyed at brunch one day in Sydney, B. C. I think it makes a nice change from the usual versions and I really like that it’s vegetarian. The idea of making this for brunch and having it outside on the deck or patio on a sunny summer or early fall day is so appealing. The basil oil needs to be done the day before and you can roast the tomatoes then as well. You can cheat and use hollandaise from a package, but making blender Hollandaise is pretty easy and works well. Mimosas anyone?
Makes 4 Servings
8 medium eggs (or 4 large depending on how hungry you are!)
Oven roasted tomatoes, see below
Basil oil, see below
Blender hollandaise, see below
4 – 8 medium slices of sourdough bread, toasted & kept warm in a 180 F oven
or toasted brioche, toasted English muffins or toasted buttermilk biscuits
Blender Hollandaise Sauce:
Of course, you can use a mix, but there is nothing like homemade.
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, cubed
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Fill a blender with hot water; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Remove pan from heat. Drain blender and dry well. Put egg yolks and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice in blender; cover and blend to combine. Working quickly and with blender running, remove lid insert and slowly pour hot butter into blender in a thin stream of droplets; discarding milk solids in bottom of the pan. Blend until a creamy sauce forms; season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice. Serve immediately or to hold the hollandaise for a maximum of 30 minutes try the following methods:
1. Keep sauce warm by placing the blender in a pan of very hot tap water.
2. Preheat a wide mouth thermos with hot water for 15 minutes; pour out the water, then pour in the hollandaise sauce and screw the lid on until ready to use.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes:
Cut 1 lb. cherry tomatoes in half. Salt the tomatoes lightly with kosher salt and let stand 30 – 45 minutes. Drain in a colander for 5 minutes. Place the tomatoes in an oiled glass oven pan. Toss with a few tablespoons of EVO and roast (convection 375 F or if not convection 400 F) 30 minutes until collapsed. Reserve and keep warm, You can do this the day before and reheat in the microwave just until warm.
The day before combine ½ cup EVO with 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil and let steep overnight on the counter, until ready to use. Strain out the basil leaves if you wish. Set oil aside.
Method For Poaching Eggs:
If I can do anything ahead I will!
Fill a large bowl with ice water and ice; set aside. Pour enough water into each of 2 large skillets to reach a depth of 2”. Bring water to a slow simmer over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp. vinegar to each skillet. Carefully crack each egg into individual ramekins. Gently slide 1 egg at a time into simmering water, working in batches of 4 eggs for each skillet. Cook until whites are just set, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, very gently transfer eggs to bowls of ice water, being careful not to break the eggs.
Make ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate eggs in bowls of ice water.
Pour enough water into each of 2 large skillets to reach depth of 1”; bring to a simmer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to skillets; cook 1 minute for soft yolks.
Assemble the eggs benedict:
Place toast on 4 warm plates. Top with some of the roasted tomatoes; then the poached eggs. Pour a small ladle of hollandaise sauce over the eggs and finish with a drizzle of basil oil and enjoy!