I did this for next month's East End Life newsletter, and thought it would be fun to share here on the blog too. This one was a feature on Animal Farm, a brilliant mixed-livestock farm set in the rolling hills of Bellingdon. They do excellent meat (wild boar, rare breed beef, sheep etc.), and they also rear many different varieties of free-range poultry so you can usually find a mix of gorgeous duck eggs, glossy deep brown eggs from Burford Brown hens, and delightfully pale blue-tinted Cotswold Legbar eggs!
As much as I love my omelettes and fancy frittatas, I felt I would be somewhat letting the chickens down if I just break their beautiful golden yolks up, so I decided to lightly boil them and appreciate the delicious subtle flavour differences among the different eggs.
Soft-Boiled Eggs with Sesame Roasted Broccoli Soldiers
3-4 large free-range eggs, a mix
1 large handful of purple sprouting broccoli
1 tsp good soy sauce (traditionally fermented, I used tamari here)
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat
1. For the soft-boiled eggs, put room temperature eggs in a single layer in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, and once boiling, take off the heat and let sit in the hot water for 4 min exactly. Immediately remove to a bowl of ice-cold water, to stop the cooking. (See here for how to boil eggs.)
2. Break the broccoli into roughly equal stalks. Toss with rest of ingredients except sesame seeds. Spread in an even layer on a greased baking tray.
3. Roast for about 10-15 min at 180 degrees celsius or till lightly browned at the edges. Scatter sesame seeds over to toast about 5 min towards the end.
This is actually an old recipe, I did it almost exactly a year ago, with normal broccoli, but tis' the season for purple sprouting broccoli! It's one of the simple favourites I return to. Sometimes I have the soft-boiled egg with sourdough toast soldiers, sometimes with seasonal vegetable soldiers; either way, you can't go wrong with oozy golden yolk from a happy hen!