Sunday, May 18, 2008

Recipe: Eggs Rockefeller with Dandelion Greens and Hollandaise

Living so far from our families, we’re nostalgic on Mother’s Day. We call and send flowers, but always wish we could be together in one place. To feel closer to our mothers, we do something special on Mother’s Day.

Last Sunday, we celebrated by making Eggs Rockefeller with Dandelion Greens and Hollandaise. To toast our mothers, we had
Bloody Marys (one of them virgin, one not), the perfect drink for eggs served with buttery hollandaise.

If you’ve never tried
dandelion greens, they have wonderful flavor when picked before the flower buds form. For information about gathering dandelions and other wild greens, go to my How to Harvest Wild Greens post.

For those who don’t have the time or inclination for dandelions, use spinach instead, the green used in many “Rockefeller” preparations. If you don’t like spinach, use Swiss chard. Or nettles. Or whatever leafy greens strike your fancy.

Hollandaise sauce is a breeze to make in a blender. For as long as I’ve been cooking, I’ve used the blender hollandaise recipe in The Joy of Cooking (a classic American cookbook) that was given me when I first moved out on my own. This recipe has never failed; it makes perfect hollandaise every time.

Eggs Rockefeller with Dandelion Greens and Hollandaise
Serves 2

Well-flavored greens, flavored with a hint of fennel, are a terrific counterpoint to runny egg-yolks and rich hollandaise. Any tender greens, wild or domesticated, may be used instead of dandelions.For special occasions, serve with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa.

1 pound dandelion greens (uncleaned) or 1 bunch spinach
1 cup diced onions, 1/4” dice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. freshly crushed fennel seed
4 slices artisan-style bread or 2 English muffins
4 eggs
Blender Hollandaise Sauce (see recipe below)
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Wash the dandelions very carefully. Discard any tough or damaged leaves, stems, roots, and the tiny flower bud often found in the very center of even young dandelions.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the cleaned dandelions and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the greens into a bowl of cold water. (Reserve the hot cooking water for poaching the eggs.) Drain the greens. Pick up a handful of drained greens and, using your hands, squeeze as much water out of them as you can. Continue with the remaining greens. Chop the greens.

Sauté the onions, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, in olive oil until they soften and start to turn golden. Stir in the garlic and crushed fennel; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped greens and toss to thoroughly combine. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid in the greens has evaporated. Keep warm while you make the eggs.

[For the hollandaise, put the egg yolks etc. in the blender container, and start melting the butter.] Toast the bread or English muffins.

Bring the greens cooking water to a simmer. Crack the eggs into 4 separate small bowls. Slip the eggs into the simmering water. [While the eggs are cooking, finish the hollandaise by blending hot bubbling butter into the egg yolks.]

When the simmering eggs are just set (be sure not to cook the yolks hard), remove them from the water with a slotted spoon. Drain the eggs briefly on paper towels.

Assemble: Place two slices of toast on a plate. Top each piece of toast with the cooked dandelion greens. Put a poached egg on top of the dandelions and pour a ribbon of hollandaise on top of the eggs. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne and serve immediately.

Blender Hollandaise Sauce
Makes 1 cup
Adapted from
The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker (1964 edition)
The sauce must be hot when served; either make it at the very end or keep it warm by putting the blender container in warm (not hot) water. This makes enough for 3 servings of Eggs Benedict or Rockefeller and I usually only make it for 2. I’ve tried making a smaller amount and it doesn’t work; without the full amount of bubbling hot butter, there isn’t enough heat to cook the eggs. Leftover hollandaise makes a terrific sauce for asparagus or other green vegetables. To use leftover hollandaise, slowly reheat the sauce in a water bath.

3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne, and salt in a blender. Melt the butter until it is hot and bubbling (this is easiest to do in a microwave). Blend the egg yolks on high for a few seconds, and then pour in a steady stream of hot bubbling butter. The hollandaise should now be done; if it isn’t thick enough, continue to blend for a few more seconds. If the sauce is too thick add a tiny amount of lemon juice or water. Taste and add salt, cayenne, or lemon juice as needed.

This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen.


Peter M said...

Laurie, eat all the dandelions that you can...from my reading the summer ones get tough, spring is the time for them.

As for keeping Hollandaise sauce it in a thermos (old restaurant trick).

Peter G said...

What a nice way to include dandelions in a breakfast dish. That hollandaise recipe looks too easy. I remember watching chefs, meticulously cutting cubes of butter and then having a double boiler ready and it took forever...will def have to give it a try Laurie.

Lulu said...

Great use for greens! I too use the blender hollandaise recipe from the old Joy of Cooking.

For some reason it's never occured to me to grind fennel seeds, even though I love their licorice flavor. You've given me some ideas....:-)


great combination - eggs with greens. I've figured that this is the best way to eat eggs; greens as a salad, or greens as an addition when they are being cooked

ejm said...

Good idea to use dandelion greens instead of spinach! Mmmm, hollandaise sauce....

Are Eggs Rockefeller pretty much the same as Eggs Florentine? Is it the greens that define them?


P.S. Very clever to use a thermos to keep hollandaise hot, Peter M. (But how to clean the thermos afterward? AND more important, how to make sure that you have gotten all the hollandaise out of the thermos)

Riana Lagarde said...

would you believe that i made this for mothers day too? well with spinach and white wine hollendaise. we are always thinking alike, must be the MEd connection!

all the best,

Lisa said...

I eat eggs practically every day. Yes, I like them that much. They are so versatile and a good choice for vegetarians. A nice mother's day treat.

Kalyn said...

This sounds like a very delicious breakfast! (Will have to try the hollandaise method sometime.)

Laurie Constantino said...

PeterM, yes the best dandelions are in the spring but since they reseed all summer (at least around here) you can actually find some sweet ones later in the year. The thermos trick is a good one, especially if you are cooking for a crowd. For 2, it's just as easy to make it at the last minute (can you tell I'm always looking for a way to avoid dirtying more dishes?).

PeterG, the blender method definitely turns hollandaise into something you don't need kitchen skills to do.

LuLU, glad I'm not the only reader of the old Joy of Cooking! As for freshly crushed fennel seeds, they're a wonderful flavor booster.

Maria, I don't think there is a greens and eggs dish in existence that I wouldn't love. Yum.

Elizabeth, florentine/rockefeller - I don't know that there's a difference. In my mind it's the fennel that turns florentine into rockefeller. However, I've read that the original rockefeller (oysters) was made with parsley not spinach. So call it whatever you want - it'll taste good either way! :-)

Riana, go Med!

by MAG said...

I love dandelions and I posted the 2 recipes I know how to make, but I will definitely try this one. Thanks :)

Laurie Constantino said...

Mag, I just checked out your dandelion recipes and they look really great - and I'll definitely be trying them!

Bijoux said...

I love hollandaise sauce even though it may not be the most slimming choice for someone watching their calorie consumption :D I also really like the dandelion greens option as an alternative to spinach greens.