The beauty of poached eggs is their versatility. Depending on what you pair them with, they can be breakfast, lunch or even dinner.
So for this quick and easy weekday meal, I serve them with a bed of arugula, a scoop of ricotta cheese — one of the most overlooked cheeses in the dairy case (it's good for more than just lasagna and stuffed shells!) — and a bit of buttered multigrain toast. It's simple. It's filling. And it could be breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Want it to be a bit more robust? Just about any cooked and cooled vegetables could be added to the arugula. Leftover roasted winter vegetables, such as butternut squash or carrots, would be great.
POACHED EGGS OVER RICOTTA
Start to finish: 20 minutes
4 cups arugula
2 cups ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
4 large eggs
Minced fresh chives
4 thick slices multigrain bread, toasted and buttered
Divide the arugula between 4 serving bowls.
In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta and lemon zest. Season with salt and black pepper. Divide between the serving bowls, spooning it over the arugula. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a low simmer. Add the vinegar.
Crack each egg into a small glass. One at a time, gently and slowly pour each egg into the simmering water, bringing the lip of the glass right down to the water so that the egg slides in. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook them in 2 batches.
Cook for 4 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to lift each egg out (letting excess water drip away). Nestle one egg into the ricotta in each serving bowl.
Season the eggs with salt and pepper, then drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately with the toast.
Nutrition information per serving: 550 calories; 290 calories from fat (53 per cent of total calories); 32 g fat (15 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 260 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 29 g protein; 730 mg sodium
EDITOR'S NOTE: Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is author of the cookbook "High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking." Follow him to great eats on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch or email him at jhirsch(at)ap.org.