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. Eggs Rockefeller with Dandelion Greens and Hollandaise
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.
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.
Eggs Rockefeller with Dandelion Greens and Hollandaise
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
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.