A Modern Way to Eat: My Favorite Recipe for Eggs Benedict

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In the past, I’ve turned up my nose and definitely squished my face up at vegetarian cookbooks. I promise there’s a probably illogical reason for this, but it’s my reason.

After spending so many years building online communities, I have come to believe that cookbooks and cooking are group activities. I think we should tackle recipes together; the more the merrier; we should learn and cook as a crowd and then share the results. And frankly, there’s always been something about vegetarian cookbooks that felt a little  lonely and inaccessible to me.

I remember a period when the concept of vegetarian cookbooks was so new that the ideas felt foreign and solitary. The ingredients were sometimes hard to find and the techniques were strange or cumbersome. You couldn’t call a neighbor for advice on an old vegetarian recipe (because no one else had the cookbook), so you were basically on your own, the very opposite of community.

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Vegetarian cookbooks have changed a lot, thank goodness, and there’s a brand new cookbook I have to gush about that fulfills on my community beliefs while also delivering on delicious recipes that make you feel amazing.

A Modern Way to Eat is the sort of cookbook I carry around to coffee shops to peruse over a cup of tea. It’s always in my kitchen and I cook from it regularly. I’ve had countless phone calls with friends to discuss a recipe or approach from the book, because they all love it.

A little background on Anna Jones: She’s a cook, stylist and writer who lives in London. She got her start working in Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and then went on to cook in kitchens all over Europe, Australia and even the States. You should definitely be reading her pretty blog.

These three recipes from Anna’s cookbook have made it into general rotation in my kitchen, because they just generally rock: Smoked paprika oven-based fries; Banana, blueberry and pecan pancakes; and, the Double chocolate cloud cake (for special moments). However, my absolute go-to recipe is this gorgeous Eggs Benedict.

It’s substantial enough for any meal of the day and since it’s easy on the eyes, it’s great for company. It involves a few steps, but I like to sip on a big mug of hot water with lemon or my first cup of steaming coffee while I take my time bringing it all together. If you’re serving it to guests, keep the sweet potatoes and onions warm in the oven on low while you make the eggs and the hollandaise.

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A New Eggs Benedict

Adapted from Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 6 to 8 handfuls of spinach, washed and any big stalks removed
  • 4 large eggs, preferably organic or free-range
For the Quick Hollandaise:
  • Small handful of cashew nuts, soaked in water
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Small bunch of fresh tarragon or dill, leaves picked
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the sweet potato slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, and roast for 20 minutes, or until soft in the center and crispy at the edges.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, place a little oil, the onions and a pinch of salt. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, sweet, and a little brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Make the hollandaise: In a food processor, blend the drained cashews with the avocado, tarragon or dill, the lime juice, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. If the sauce isn’t drizzle-able, add a little water to loosen it.
  5. In a pan over medium heat, add a little oil and the spinach. Cook for just a few minutes until it wilts but is still bright green. Remove the spinach from the pan and set aside. Add another splash of oil and pan-fry the eggs until over easy.
  6. To serve, stack the sweet potatoes in the middle of each plate. Top with a spoonful of onions, wilted spinach, a single fried egg and a spoonful of hollandaise. Garnish with remaining tarragon or dill and season with salt and pepper.
Photos taken and styled by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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