This is about my need for green.

The last few weeks have included some capital ‘I’ indulgences.

So when my body starts muttering about broccoli, I have the sense to know it’s time to listen.

The muttering comes from the voice of reason inside. It has its own barometer. At the moment it’s whispering; ‘walk away from the quesadillas;  made at 3 am while one hand is clutching a Campari and the other is hunting over your shoulder for the wayward strap of your bridesmaid dress’.

‘Walk away from lunches of crispy pig’s ears, crumbed quail’s eggs and tarragon mayonnaise, wagyu burgers and  parmesan and truffle fries’.
 
‘Walk away from the treats- and yes I know it was lovely on the flight home when lost in the international date line and watching back to back episodes of ‘The Kennedys’ over the Mongolian desert the stewardess brought you a Snickers bar-  but that time has now come to a close.

The voice has spoken. It’s soft but insistent- like a sweet piano instructor you’re a little bit terrified of.

So this week if I’m going to be eating nuts, they’re not going to be coated in caramel and chocolate (no matter how much that really satisfies). They’re going to give my body a kick along with some chilli and greens. The same goes for eggs. And yes, I  think can have a perfectly set outside and  runny yolk without the need for a deep fried crust (those crumbed eggs with tarragon mayonnaise really were terribly good).

This is how this meal was born. And I think it’s a keeper.

The vegetables at the base are interchangeable- green is good, but a medley of chickpeas and corn sautéed with some lemon zest and olive oil are also pleasant guests at the party. But what makes it come alive is this salsa.

I’ve read in a few vegan blogs about using blitzed cashews as a mock cream. They give body without bloated bulk. So a handful of their blonde curved bodies went into the little blender with some basil, mint and  garlic for a light trill. For the chilli hit my body needed, I turned to the big red bottle of Sriracha.

 
Sriracha is sometimes a dirty word in our house.

It’s a Thai hot sauce made of chilli, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It brings a good slap of piquancy and heat. It’s great on Asian seafood. It’s fun on trashy diner food. And it’s good for waking up any dishes that are shy or flailing.

So you can understand that when The Hungry One pulls it out and starts squirting it over dinners that weren’t designed for it; well- let’s just say that sometimes feelings can get hurt.

But here it was just the thing I wanted.

The eggs were perfectly nursery soft- solid whites with yolks oozing like sordid memories from a boozy night.

On the plate there were some fresh herbs for life and toasted almonds for crunch.

But mostly it was about the greens and the chilli. It was simple, clean and sprightly.

After eating it, for a time,  I felt much more like me.

It’s a good egg of a dish. 

Eggs with broccolini, and a mint, cashew, and Sriracha salsa


Serves 2

Equipment
1 small blender. 1 fry pan. 1 bowl filled with iced water (for the eggs). 1 saucepan.

Shopping/ foraging

For the salsa
20 mint leaves
15 basil leaves
3/4 cup of cashews
1- 2 teaspoons of Sriracha chilli sauce (depending on how much kick you like)
1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on how much grunt you want)
3 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
pinch of salt


For the salad
7 broccolini stems per person (you can also add fresh corn, chickpeas, peas or any other type of vegetable)
Zest of a quarter of a lemon
One or two eggs per person
One teaspoon of baking powder (to add to the water you cook the eggs in)
A few extra basil and mint leaves.
A handful of toasted almond flakes



Here’s how we roll

1. Add your eggs to a saucepan half filled with boiling water and a teaspoon of baking powder. The baking powder helps alter the pH so the whites shirk away from the shells once they’ve cooked, making them easier to shell.  Boil them for 5 minutes and 10 seconds (This is David Chang’s timing- the man knows what he’s talking about). Then plunge them into a bowl full of iced water. Leave them there to cool. Then crack the shells gently against a table and shell them under a small trickle of running water (you can do this ahead of time and then gently warm them in warm water later if you want).

2. Make the salsa. Add the cashews, mint, basil, olive oil, garlic and water into a small blender. Blitz until smooth.
3. Sauté your vegetables until just cooked in a few drops of olive oil and the zest of a quarter of a lemon. You can add a tablespoon or two of the salsa at this point if you want to coat your vegetables.
4. Assemble your salad, adding a few extra mint and basil leaves, a tablespoon of toasted almond flakes and a few extra drops of Sriracha sauce around the plate. Place some of the salsa around and over the vegetables.  Leave the eggs for people to puncture themselves. Watching the yolk run out over the plate is half the fun.