Herbed cottage cheese with poached eggs + pickled beetroot

Herbed cottage cheese with poached eggs + pickled beetroot

By
From
Spoon
Makes
4 bowls

‘I like to get up before anyone else does. I love those quiet hours, when I can prepare the most delicious breakfasts to wake others up with.’ Renée Kemps, food blogger, Renée Kemps

Renée’s blog was one of the first that I started following very regularly – helped by the fact that when we started up Spoon Cereals, I had just moved back from living in Amsterdam, where she is based. The food and photos in the blog made me nostalgic for the small, artisan shops and cafés that characterise the city. This recipe is, for me, typical of Renée’s approach to food – a delicious combination of simple ingredients, prepared well.

Jonny

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 eggs
handful basil, to serve
rocket, to serve

Cottage cheese

Quantity Ingredient
200g cottage cheese
handful dill, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Quick-pickled beetroot (beets)

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 small beetroot
200ml apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Parmesan oil

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 rinds parmesan cheese
200ml extra virgin olive oil

extra virgin olive oil

Quantity Ingredient
2 thick slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons butter
pinch salt

Method

  1. Preferably the day (or more) before you want to eat this, mix the cottage cheese with the dill, lemon zest and salt and pepper (to taste).
  2. For the quick-pickled beetroot, place the beetroot in a big saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Peel the skin off and cut them, using a mandoline or sharp knife, into slices 5 mm thick. Place in a big Mason jar, pour over the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup and fill up with water to the rim. Leave the beetroot in a cool place for at least 4 hours, and up to a couple of days.
  3. For the Parmesan oil, add the rinds of Parmesan cheese to the oil and simply leave to infuse. The longer, the better.
  4. When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 110°C.
  5. Cut the sourdough bread into 2 cm cubes. Place on a baking tray and put in the oven to dry out, for about 10 minutes. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the bread cubes and salt, and toss to coat. Toast until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
  6. Fill a big saucepan with water, bring to the boil and add a little salt. Bring back to a gentle simmer. Crack each egg into a little bowl, one by one, and gently drop them into the simmering water. Depending on the size of your eggs, leave to poach for 3–4 minutes. Remove and place on paper towels to absorb the water. Repeat with the remaining eggs, or cook together if your pan is large enough.
  7. To assemble, for each person, take a bowl and place a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese on the bottom. Place a poached egg and a few slices of the pickled beetroot on top. Drizzle with a little Parmesan oil. Add the sourdough croutons, fresh basil and a few sprigs of rocket and serve straight away.
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