I love a great bowl of breakfast-brunch – the kind of weekend meal that keeps you going all day because it’s filling, deeply satisfying, and delicious. This recipe makes use of leftover polenta (if you’ve never made polenta, it’s as easy as making oatmeal), and involves the frying of a couple of eggs and a quick sauté of whatever veggies and herbs you have on hand. The polenta had been part of dinner the night before, and I spread it into a rectangular cake pan and let it harden in the fridge overnight.
The next morning I cut out circles of polenta with a biscuit cutter, and threw them on the portable grill for about 15 minutes.
They were the basis for the eggs, sort of an ‘Eggs Benedict’ with polenta instead of English muffins, and vegetables and herbs instead of hollandaise – so flavorful and fresh, especially now that summer herbs are flourishing. I had put chopped sage into the polenta the night before, because polenta can always use a flavor boost. After putting the eggs and veggies together, I sprinkled the tops of the eggs with chives, purple basil, lovage (a mild version of celery), parsley, thyme, and rosemary – just a snip from each plant was more than enough for four servings. Who wouldn’t love to wake up to this fragrant, savory meal?
Grilled Polenta and Fried Eggs
Prep time: For the polenta: 10 minutes plus several hours in the refrigerator to harden; 25 minutes for the rest
For the polenta:
- 1 24-ounce bag of polenta (I used half for dinner the night before, and half of it for breakfast)
- 2 tablespoons sage, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- water – refer to directions on polenta bag, as amount of water to be used may vary.
- Bring water to a boil and add polenta, stirring constantly.
- Add salt, pepper and olive oil. Mixture will be thick.
- Stir in sage. For making grilled polenta cakes, spread polenta, about ½ inch thick, into the bottom of a rectangular glass pan and refrigerate.
- When ready to use, cut out rounds of polenta with a biscuit cutter, or simply use a knife to cut polenta into 3-inch by 3-inch squares.
- Grill on a hot grill for 10-15 minutes, until grill marks begin to show, and remove from heat, setting aside and keeping warm.
For the vegetables and herbs:
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped roughly
- one garlic glove, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons scallions, chopped
- a selection of herbs, several sprigs of each as available: parsley, sage, thyme, lovage, chives and/or rosemary, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- Chop herbs and mix together loosely, setting aside for now.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil and cook garlic for a minute at medium heat, until fragrant.
- Add scallions, tomatoes, salt, and pepper for another minute, then add spinach.
- Cook just until spinach begins to reduce and remove pan from heat. In another frying pan, fry eggs in groups of two each.
- While eggs are frying, place two warm polenta cakes on each of four plates, and divide the sautéed vegetables on top of them.
- Add two fried eggs to each plate, and sprinkle with herbs.
- Serve immediately.
- This can also be served in a chafing dish and kept warm for a time, though the yolks of the eggs should not be allowed to harden – you want the yellow of the egg running all over the rest of the ingredients. Enjoy!