Soft-Boiled Egg Bruschetta alla Fiorentina

I briefly mentioned Uva Wine Bar’s delicious bruschettas in my last post on Lungarotti Rubesco, which is currently on their wine list.

Uva has a great variety of snacks and treats that pair wonderfully with their wines, including the best tripe I’ve ever had (and believe me, I’m Chinese – I’ve eaten a lot of tripe).

Suffice it to say I found myself visiting Uva three times in the last month – and I don’t often frequent an establishment with such regularity. (The only other such place would be Sushi Yama, but I’ll save that for another post.)

Inspired by their sublime fried egg bruschetta with chili and pecorino, I decided to gather what was available in the fridge and make a similar dish for brunch today.

My semi-policy for this blog is that I stick to articles on libations only, but this recipe is so simple yet so tasty that it’s well worth sharing.

I also decided to share with you my foolproof method for Perfectly Soft-Boiled Eggs – it’s almost too easy!

I recommend this dish for any event at time of day. Who doesn’t like eating breakfast for dinner? For cocktail parties, using smaller toasts and quail’s eggs for this bruschetta would make a lovely spread of canapés.

Eggstacy. (Click photo to enlarge)

Ingredients

  • Sliced bread (I used an Italian Calabrese loaf but just use what you like – Black Russian Rye would also be a delicious and interesting choice)
  • Perfectly Soft-Boiled Eggs – one per slice of bread
  • Spinach (Baby spinach salad mix, the kind with a bit of radicchio and arugula, works well here and has great texture. Just remember that wilted spinach reduces your volume to about a quarter of what you had to begin with, so make sure you have enough on hand. Fresh spinach pays off immensely in this recipe – don’t use frozen blocks)
  • Mayonnaise (Homemade would be great but I used Hellman’s Olive Oil mayo and it was fine)
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red chili powder to taste

Directions

  1. Make Perfectly Soft-Boiled Eggs (see below).
  2. Meanwhile, heat grapeseed oil in a pan on medium-high heat and cook the spinach until just wilted. (Use 1.5 to 2 tbsp. oil for every 5 oz package of spinach.) Add salt to taste (a little goes a long way). Set aside in the pan to keep warm.
  3. Pop bread in toaster. Peel the eggshells at this time if the eggs are ready.
  4. Prepare bruschetta. On each slice of toast, spread a generous amount of mayonnaise. Pile approximately half to one cm of wilted spinach onto each toast.
  5. Place bruschetta on your intended serving plate. Top with a whole de-shelled Perfectly Soft-Boiled Egg and cut into sections with a knife. (It’s important to cut the egg on the toast as you want to keep the runny/gooey yolk – the best part – on the bruschetta, not the plate).
  6. Sprinkle Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and/or chili powder over each bruschetta to taste. Serve immediately.

Wine Suggestion

I had mine this morning with coffee, which was great, but a medium- to full-bodied, refreshing white wine with either some crispness or nuttiness to play off the flavours of the spinach or egg would be quite tasty with this dish. Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio (Italy, $20) and Sandhill Pinot Gris (BC, $18) come to mind. I drank a white wine made of Grechetto grapes at Uva when I had the egg bruschetta there, and it was fabulous too – that’s worth a try if you can find a bottle.

Perfectly Soft-Boiled Eggs

Spartans of this world will rejoice in this recipe because you don’t even need a stove – an electric kettle (the kind with a hidden heat coil) works just fine. Room temperature eggs are ideal.*

Example of Step 4: Runny Yolks. (Click photo to enlarge)

Directions

  1. Put eggs in pot or electric kettle and cover with cold or room temperature water.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil for one minute and remove from heat / unplug the kettle. Leave eggs in the heated water for a few minutes according to desired yolk consistency, as shown below.
  3. Super-Runny Yolks: 2 minutes.
  4. Runny Yolks: 4 minutes.
  5. Gummy/Gooey Yolks: 6 minutes.
  6. Drain the water and cool eggs by running under cold tap water for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  7. Crack and peel the eggs and serve immediately. (Tip: Running the cracked eggs briefly under cold tap water so that the water gets between the shell and the egg white also helps with peeling.)

* Note: This cooking method is only accurate for medium to extra large chicken eggs. To prepare quail’s eggs for canapés as I suggested above, you may wish to remove one test egg from the water immediately after it reaches a boil and checking its yolk consistency for your desired softness.