My favorite breakfast when I was little was poached eggs on buttered toast. Something about that salt-sprinkled cracked egg yolk running over crispy crunchy, sweet, buttered toast–warm, yummy, and comforting. Whenever I hear those famous chef-folk talk about “umami”, it’s always a somewhat nebulous mystery to me–what do they mean by umami?! Why do they use the word in the definition?!–that doesn’t help anyone understand what they are talking about when they are licking their lips after downing sea urchin, soy sauce, and other “ocean-y” tasting things. Is umami like drinking the ocean, or what?!
And then I remembered the salty, homey, earthy taste of poached eggs on buttered toast–and I realized, in my opinion, that’s what umami is! Not the ocean per se, but that otherwise indescribably melty, homey, hint of salt flavor.
And when you’re all grown up, it’s only right to put something green on that toast, right?! Homemade toasted 10-grain whole wheat bread topped with smashed lime avocado, sautéed asparagus, fresh tomato slices, poached eggs, and grapefruit sections on the side.
POACHED EGGS WITH LIME AVOCADO AND FRESH VEGGIES ON TOAST
You can top your toast with any veggies you’d like–peas, broccoli, etc.; I had fresh tomatoes and asparagus on hand so that’s what I used.
- bread of choice for toasting
- 1-2 avocados (1 will be sufficient for 2 slices of toast)
- 1-2 limes, juiced
- 1 garden fresh tomato
- 15-20 asparagus stalks
- 1 egg per piece of toast
- Bring a pot of water to a slow simmer over medium heat.
- While water is heating, first, toast bread and butter slices. Next, trim and sauté the asparagus stalks in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- The water should be ready for poaching the eggs at this point. It’s true what they say–add a splash of vinegar and it will keep the egg white tighter while poaching. Gently drop the eggs in the water and watch so they don’t over-poach, maybe 3-4 minutes total.
- While eggs are poaching, shuck the avocados and smash in a bowl with the lime juice, add salt and pepper to taste. Slice fresh tomatoes.
- Layer toast: lime avocado, sautéed asparagus, one slice of tomato, poached egg, sprinkle with salt and pepper.