Perfect Scrambled Eggs with Basil Pesto (Mother's Little Helper No.2)


Given that Henry the 18 year old  was blogging away the other day, bemoaning the fact that he can't make scrambled eggs (don't look at me like that!) and I am attempting to provide him with his favourite recipes before he flies the nest,  I felt that should be the next recipe up on the blog accompanied by my Mother's Little Helper No.2, Basil Pesto. When I was little, scrambled eggs were one of my favourite things to eat, and still are today. Whenever I was sick my mother would make up a tray and give me dinner in bed, scrambled eggs, plenty of chopped parsley and a glass of milk - and I felt completely  nurtured. It wasn't until I stayed at a girlfriend's house when I was about 15 that I realised that my mother's eggs could be (vastly) improved on. (Sorry Mum! Remember she hates cooking). Anyhoo, my friend had two gorgeous brothers, and one morning after a sleep-over I bounced into the kitchen and volunteered to make scrambled eggs for them, as you do. The younger gorgeous brother (about 18) said that would be lovely until I started pulling out a pot to cook them in. He quite rightly looked horrified and proceeded to instruct me in the fine art of cooking the perfect scrambled eggs. The trick is to use a shallow pan, keep the heat low, cook them slowly and only stir occasionally - the result, creamy, soft and perfect eggs. (This should also be handy for other mothers of teens or children who are wont to make Mothers Day or birthday breakfasts, or anyone for that matter, who hasn't yet mastered the art!)

The second recipe is for Basil Pesto, and in a similar way to my Caramelised Onions, they can be used to make a meal in minutes, and add a boost to lots of your favourite dishes. A couple of suggestions:

  • stirred through pasta with chopped cherry tomatoes and crispy prosciutto and parmesan
  • layered onto bruschetta with tomatoes, buffalo mozarella or feta
  • served with pan fried field mushrooms on grainy toast
  • stirred through cold pasta with avocado, sun dried tomatoes, blanched asparagus and shredded roast chicken as a salad
  • plopped onto your favourite pizzas
  • as a topping for beef burgers
  • add a little extra oil and use as a salad dressing
  • stir through peas or freshly blanched green beans with toasted pine nuts as a side dish
  • spoon onto beef, chicken, lamb or even fish
  • leave out the pine nuts and spoon into spring vegetable soup as a French pistou 
  • serve with scrambled eggs and avocado!
...and finally, if you are Italian or of Italian descent, stop reading here and skip down to the recipe because this is slightly can make all sorts of pesto variations, using coriander and lime like this, walnut and rocket like this, coriander and pine nut like this or make up other combinations such as mint and parsley (mmm thinking on baby new potatoes) - feel free to experiment :)

Update - I wrote this post 3 years ago, my lovely Henry is now studying interior design and living in Melbourne...and an amazing cook! Feel free to pop on in to the homepage to check out hundreds more recipes or come and say 'hi' at my instagram or Facebook pages :)

Basil Pesto
2 handfuls fresh basil (60g)
1/2 - 3/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lightly toasted pinenuts
2 cloves garlic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Throw everything in a blender and whizz until as smooth as you like. Makes about 1 1/4 cups. Keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Feel free to add a little extra oil for a looser texture :)

Scrambled eggs for 1
2 teaspoon butters
3 free range, preferably organic eggs
3 tbsp cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 tbsp basil pesto and 1/4 avocado, sliced optional

Start to melt 1 teaspoon of the butter over a gentle heat in a small frying pan and whisk eggs with cream. Once butter has just melted (do not let it go brown) add eggs and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Cook very slowly over a low heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring gently every minute or two. Add the extra teaspoon of butter after about 6-7 minutes and stir in gently as it melts. As soon as you think they are almost cooked, turn off the heat as they will continue to cook from the residual heat as you plate up. Serve with sliced avocado, basil pesto and grilled Turkish bread. (Or of course serve with bacon, tomatoes, hash browns or whatever else you fancy - or leave out the pesto and stir through 50g hot smoked salmon...)
Please note the cooking temperature needs to be low - if it is higher, they will cook faster - that isn't the end of the world, but if they do, remove them from the heat as soon as they are cooked :)

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