January 10, 2015
Egg, celery and anchovy breakfast recipe
Crunchy, salty, comforting, filling, I really do believe this is the perfect breakfast recipe. Inspired (as so much of my cooking is at the moment) by the flavours of a Diana Henry idea, I’ve found that adding all the extra veg feels like you’re filling yourself with health whilst still creating the hangover cure that most weekends need.
Egg and celery is a combination you don’t find as often as it deserves, the richness of the yolk seeming to promote the bitterness of celery to a sharp, umami hit – I’ll often just hard boil eggs and dip them in a dusting of celery salt for a very quick snack.
In The Herb and Flower Cookbook I’ve a recipe for poached egg with mushrooms and sorrel or chives that has a similar palette to this. You can also add any green veg you’ve got lurking in the fridge: spinach, rocket, or the ubiquitous kale work well.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 6-7 minutes
2-4 eggs (depending on how many each person wants)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
Handful of mushrooms, washed and sliced
4 anchovies, chopped
Sourdough bread, toasted, to serve
Large knob of butter, around 50g
Handful of coriander, chopped
I find it’s easiest to get all the veg ready first before you do any cooking, along with putting the bread in the toaster ready to toast just before you need it.
Put the eggs in a pan of boiling water for around 6-7 minutes, so that they’re hard boiled but the yolk is still a little soft. Remove them from the pan and plunge them into cold water.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and celery, stirring regularly. After two minutes, add the mushrooms, and after a further two minutes, add the anchovies, frying for two minutes more, whilst popping the bread on to toast.
Add the butter and turn the heat right down, so that it melts but doesn’t sizzle too much.
Divide the toast between two plates and pour the vegetable mixture and its liquid on to the bread – the buttery liquor will seep into the toast so there’s no need to butter it first.
Halve the eggs and place them on top of the veg, with the coriander sprinkled on top (I forgot to do this for the photo because I got a bit excited by how good it all smelt and wanted to just snap it and eat). Serve immediately.