Have you always wondered what green eggs and ham from Dr Seuss’ classic picture book of the same name, would actually taste like? Well, wonder no longer! Kate Young has re-imagined Green Eggs and Ham as a delicious, fresh and easy breakfast option in her Little Library Cookbook, which captures the magic and wonder of the meals enjoyed by some of our best-loved fictional characters.
Weekend breakfasts were special occasions in our house – at my mum’s and my dad’s. Both my parents are confident that they make the best scrambled eggs, and we’d have them regularly: with mushrooms, beside bacon or sausages, on top of avocado, on toast. They do both make outstanding scrambled eggs, just on the boundary of ‘undercooked’, with cream (Dad) or milk (Mum) and a bit of butter at the end.
When I moved to the UK, I couldn’t decide which version I missed more. I used whatever was closest to hand in the fridge, actively trying not to take a side. That is, until I read Mastering the Art of French Cooking cover to cover. Julia Child directs us to add nothing more to the egg than the butter you have in the pan. Her scrambled eggs are the best I’ve ever had – silky, rich and worthy of the freshest, most beautiful eggs you can get your hands on. Sorry, Mum and Dad. Julia wins this round.
When I was young, green eggs and ham sounded truly awful.
Green was what happened to ham if you forgot about it at the bottom of the fridge. And so I sympathized with Dr Seuss’s unnamed protagonist, who didn’t want green eggs and ham anywhere (in a house or with a mouse, in boxes or with foxes). But scrambled eggs become something gloriously different with the addition of vivid green pesto. Suddenly, green eggs and ham is a rather appealing prospect.
1 clove garlic
Large bunch of parsley
30g/1oz/¼ cup hard goat’s cheese, grated
1tsp coarse sea salt
50ml/3½tbsp olive oil
4 large eggs
2 thick slices sourdough toast
2 large slices ham (thick or thin cut, whichever you prefer)
Butter, for spreading
Salt and pepper
Pestle and mortar
Knife and chopping board (and a little bit of patience)
Jar for storing pesto
1. First, make the pesto. This makes more than you’ll need, but it keeps for weeks in the fridge and is brilliant on pasta, in salad dressings and, of course, with eggs. In a dry pan, toast the almonds for a few minutes, ensuring they don’t catch and burn. Allow them to cool for a couple of minutes.
2. Blitz/bash/chop the almonds, along with the garlic. Then add the herbs and blitz/bash/chop again. If you’re working with a knife, put the ingredients into a mixing bowl at this stage. Add the cheese and salt and then dribble in the oil, stirring/blitzing all the time. You may not need it all; just go until you have a loose, droppable texture. Spoon the pesto into the jar for storage.
3. When you’re ready to eat your green eggs and ham, pop your bread in the toaster or on a hot griddle: the cardinal sin with scrambled eggs is to not have the toast ready in time (your eggs will overcook as they sit waiting in the pan). When the toast is ready and buttered and the ham is in position you can cook your eggs.
4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and break the yolks with a fork. Whisk them a little, but don’t go over the top; you’ll be moving them about in the pan. Heat the butter over a medium heat until foaming, then reduce the heat to the lowest possible level. Tip in the eggs and start to move them around with a spatula. Keep them moving until you have some solid clumps of eggs still surrounded by uncooked liquid. Turn the heat off. Spoon in 2tbsp of pesto and continue to stir until the eggs are just cooked.
5. Spoon the eggs over the ham and toast. Season with salt and pepper. Eat immediately.
Words: Kate Young
Posted on October 6, 2017 by Andrea
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