SAUTEÉD GREENS WITH FRIED EGGS INSPIRED BY PRUE LEITH
Have you listened to Prue Leith’s episode yet? I love that her approach to food is very unfussy, with no pretension at all. Her admission that she loves Nando’s peri peri sauce on a spatchcock chicken was brilliant, and also a great tip.
Food doesn’t have to have a whole load of bells and whistles to be enjoyable and so often actually the food we crave at home is simple, quick and satisfying. So I really liked the idea of the dish that Prue says she eats the most often. She described sautéed green vegetables usually from her garden with an egg on top. How simple, but how delicious.
This is the kind of dish that sings to me as it’s a great one for a Fridge Forage. You can use a whole manner of different green vegetables and really use up what you have to hand. You can start with some softened onions, or you can choose to omit them, you can add garlic or you can go without. You could go wild and add some non-green vegetables! I love gently pan fried cubes of butternut squash or sweet potato with my greens - they work so well with a generous pinch of ground nutmeg and a little cinnamon.
I love adding a little fish sauce - which is after all ground up anchovies and provides a really lovely background flavour. But really only a little, it should be a light kiss on the cheek rather than a snog. Finish it off with a squeeze of lemon and a little sriracha for a kick of heat. This is also excellent with a drizzle of fresh pesto which you can make, or buy, no judgement here! Just avoid the kind you get in jars because that just doesn’t really taste like pesto at all.
For the greens - try beans, peas, soya beans, broccoli, both purple sprouting or traditional florets, cavolo nero, kale, asparagus and courgette.
The only thing you need to think about is for the cooking, I tend to blanch the thicker greens - eg. beans / broccoli in boiling water before adding to the pan with the sautéed greens so that I dont end up with a total mush. Except for the courgette which I like to fry in a little oil until golden brown. Think about textures and you want to keep a bit of bite and have a mix of fried v crunch.
As for the egg, you can poach it or fry it depending on your mood. But I am firmly of the opinion that there is little an egg on top cannot improve.
So next time you are looking in your fridge and wondering what to make, try this simple vegetable dish and pop an egg on top, it’s a rags to riches kind of meal and shows that sometimes a side dish can become the main event.
1 tbsp coconut oil, or olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 red chilli, diced
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 red onion (optional)
1 courgette, sliced on the diagonal into batons
100g green beans
1 handful of peas, or soya beans
1 handful of broccoli
1/3 bunch of cavolo nero, or kale - tough stems removed and leaves chopped
Bring a pan of salted water to boil, add the broccoli and the beans and cook until just tender. Literally just a few minutes.
If using an onion - fry gently until soft and scoop into a bowl whilst you fry the courgette.
Meanwhile, fry the courgette in a hot pan with some oil until lovely and golden - this should only take 30 seconds or so. Season well. Add the fish sauce, chilli and garlic.
Add the blanched (and drained) vegetables to the pan and add the cavolo nero and the peas. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
Serve topped with a fried egg. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and some hot sauce and lots of pepper.