Ever since I found their story a few years ago, I’ve been awed by Sonja and Alex’s journey to parenthood. Sonja’s poignant, thoughtful words and their constant light throughout their experience have been humbling and inspiring; it gives a whole new perspective to this stage of life that B2 and I have been figuring out our way around lately, and reminds me that every parent has a different, incalculable strength. The best news is that, as of a few months ago, they now have the most beautiful baby boy! The joy and happiness that surrounds Larson is palpable in every photo they’ve shared (not to mention he has the sweetest blue eyes I’ve ever seen), and I’m so glad that a few wonderful bloggers have put together a celebration to honor their perfect new addition. The theme of the fête, inspired by Sonja and Alex’s fresh and vibrant blog A Couple Cooks, was “healthy snacks.” Given that the title of this post starts with “butter,” I think I’ve shown my ability to follow directions is dubious. But I do find this dish perfect in every regard for the adventure that is new parenthood — easy, pantry-friendly, distraction-friendly. And most importantly, delicious.
The impeccable recipe comes from Karen Mordechai‘s new and stunning cookbook, the Spring/Summer volume of Simple Fare. It’s a title that already has the rapt attention of this new mom looking for all things simple these days, but on top of that, the book — which I’ve been waiting for ever since Karen’s gorgeous debut cookbook — is an outsized, light and bright beauty that is full of stunning and elegant yet beautifully accessible dishes, photographed in the airy, distinctive aesthetic that makes Sunday Suppers one of my favorite inspirations on the web. Her recipe for buttered eggs was straightforward but immediately alluring: soft-boiled, runny-yolked eggs are mashed with butter (why have I never done that before?) to make what Karen calls a kind of “warm egg salad” (yes, please). It’s dolloped onto slices of hearty bread lightly toasted with olive oil, then finished with a grating of Parmesan, a pop of flaky salt, and a little lemon for brightness.
I added a few slices of radish and a scattering of parsley for an extra zing that I found irresistible, but with or without those flourishes, this is the kind of pared-down, pantry-basics meal that comes together on the days you’ve forgotten to go to the grocery store and need to figure out how to feed yourself, yet tastes like sumptuous, elegant, and complex fare that you planned out as a special treat. Best of all, it’s the kind of thing that is entirely possible with a bub on your hip — it has the same luxurious silkiness of slow-scrambled eggs, but no constant stirring or monitoring, and if, say, you’re waylaid by a diaper change or a little man who wants to eat before you do, the eggs will do just fine in some cold water, happy to stand by until you can come back to them. I can’t recommend it enough.
You can find the rest of the recipes celebrating little Larson on Ashley, Melissa, and Sarah’s blogs. Sonja and Alex, I can’t express how overjoyed I am for you! Larson has the most wonderful parents, and all the delicious food in the world isn’t enough to celebrate this fantastic news.
On a separate note: Thank you so, so much to the crazy number of you who responded to my last post and volunteered to be recipe testers! I was absolutely floored by your responses. I’m closing the form for now, and while we ended up with more volunteers than we will need, I’m deeply grateful to every single one of you for so generously offering your time. You are the absolute best.
Very lightly adapted from Simple Fare by Karen Mordechai. Karen notes that you should "[l]ook to make your eggs soft and a tad runny--soft enough to mash perfectly. You can also add the same amount of olive oil in place of the butter, if preferred."
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- Cyprus flake salt
- 2 slices of your favorite bread (the original recipe calls for black rye bread; I used a Pugliese loaf I had left over, or you can use one of the variations suggested in the book, see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Grated Pecorino cheese (see Notes)
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- optional, my additions:
- 2-3 thinly sliced radishes
- Roughly chopped parsley
- Bring a small saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Gently remove the eggs and run under cold water to peel.
- Transfer peeled eggs to a small, shallow bowl and add the butter. Mash with a fork and season with flaky salt.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill to high or a grill pan over high heat. Lightly brush the bread with the olive oil and grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
- Spread the mashed eggs on the bread and top evenly with the Pecorino and lemon zest. Sprinkle with flaky salt (and sliced radish and parsley, if you like) before serving. Enjoy.
One of the many wonderful things about Simple Fare is the flexibility and encouragement to experiment that Karen brings to every recipe. Instead of rye and Pecorino, use sourdough and Manchego if you like, or buckwheat and Parmesan.