I make it a point to not cook eggs benedict all the time because let’s be real, it’s a lot of work. I mean poaching eggs and making hollandaise over a double boiler? That’s some intense skills right there that I don’t always have the strength or the energy to create such a fancy dish. I wish I could do it because I think a brunch meal with a big plate of eggs benedict is always the icing on the morning cake. It’s the dish I usually get when I go to a restaurant for breakfast or brunch, mainly because I like to order things I don’t make at home on a regular basis. I’ll usually eat that and wash it down with a few glasses of mimosas. I’ve never turned my nose down to bottomless mimosas. Whoever came up with that concept deserves a holiday named after them. Anyhow, I normally save this dish for a special occasion. I get away with only making it once a year for my family by saying something like, “We’ll all appreciate it more when we have it once in a blue moon. If I made it all the time, we’d take it for granted.” If you think about it, I’m doing everyone a favor really. All I’m doing is making sure that no one gets tired or bored of the dish. That’s very nice of me.
I think I’ve mentioned once or twice (definitely in this Fish and Chips post) that one of my sisters is extremely picky. Like doesn’t like mac and cheese because it’s too cheesy and hates peanut butter because it smells funky to her kind of picky. A weird alien pickiness that I’m glad I didn’t genetically inherit. Sorry Nick, but it’s true. Even with her crazy likes and dislikes, she happens to love eggs benedict and gave this one two thumbs way up. Now, this is really saying something. If it passed my sister’s taste test, the same sister who hates pie crust, then anyone and everyone will enjoy this dish. You can trust me on that.
This is day three of our Easter Brunch Bonanza post and we’re just getting to the really good stuff. Don’t get me wrong, Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto Croissants and Cucumber and Strawberry Salad are great ways to start a brunch, but the real fun is in the entrée and dessert. Don’t even get me started on the cocktail. Come back tomorrow and Friday for the remaining recipes, you don’t want to miss them! I’ll tell you what else you don’t want to miss, these Spring Eggs Benedict. They’re calling out your name. Can you hear them? I can.
Let’s start by roasting our carrots. I used baby carrots, you know the ones with the big leafy tops, cut those off and peel the carrots. Then cut them in half, lengthwise. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
**Note: The maple syrup brings out the carrots’ natural sweetness and adds that little bit of sugar that allows them to caramelize while roasting. You can use a bit of brown sugar if you don’t have maple syrup!**
Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes in a 375ºF or until crispy and caramelized.
Roast the asparagus in the same manner as you did the carrots.
**Note: Just toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy.**
Remove both from the oven and set to the side. We’ll revisit them in a bit.
Let’s get to making the eggs benedict themselves. I’m sure that’s what you’re all waiting for. Enough of this whole healthy vegetable business.
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and heat the ham until browned on both sides.
**Tip: The ham is already cooked, so we’re just browning it. Most grocery stores carry single slices of ham that works perfectly for this recipe. Plus, ham is a big thing on Easter. **
And now for the hollandaise sauce. This will probably be the hardest or trickiest step of the recipe. Hollandaise can be a bit tricky. Set up a double boiler, simmer water in a pot with a bowl set over the simmering water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice until somewhat thick and doubled in size. Then slowly stream in the melted butter, making sure to pour the butter in slowly and whisk thoroughly. Cook over the double boiler until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
**Tip: Keep whisking and stirring the sauce while it cooks over the double boiler because you don’t want it to curdle and turn into scrambled eggs. The minute you walk away from the sauce, that’s when it’ll get ruined.**
Set the sauce off to the side, covered.
**Tip: If the hollandaise is too thick, you can whisk in a bit of hot water to loosen it up a bit.**
Get the poached eggs going. For a full and more in depth description of how to poach eggs, you can check out my Roasted Asparagus Sandwiches post.
Once all the components are ready you can assemble the eggs benedict. Toast the english muffins.
Top each half with an heirloom tomato slice. They’re packed with great flavor and tie so well with the rest of the fresh veggies.
Next, top with a slice of the browned ham.
The next layer are the roasted carrots and asparagus.
And now for those poached eggs we slaved so hard to make sure they turned out well.
Finish things off with a drenching of hollandaise, a sprinkling of paprika and sliced spring onions (green onions, scallions).
This is the type of recipe, unfortunately, that you can’t do ahead of time. Each component needs to be done right before assembling and eating because it’ll ensure for the best eggs bennies. The good news though, is that they’re actually a lot of fun to put together.
You can keep these vegetarian by omitting the ham, they’ll still be hearty because of the tomatoes, carrots and asparagus. Or if you don’t want something as hearty as ham, you can keep things traditional by using Canadian bacon instead. Basically, these can easily be adapted to your needs and tastes.
Let’s keep things real. What really prevents me from making eggs benedict all the time is the entire process of poaching the eggs. It can be such a hassle sometimes so when that happens, you can just fry the eggs sunny side up and place that on the eggs benedict, instead of the poached eggs. If you don’t tell anyone, I won’t either. Just our secret.
Just as a reminder, these Spring Eggs Benedict are the third recipe of our Easter Brunch Bonanza! The first two recipes are up on the Easter Brunch page but I’ll link them here so that you can check them out if you haven’t. Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto Croissants and Cucumber and Strawberry Salad. Only two more to go and I’m super excited about them so stay tuned. Come back. You don’t want to miss them. In the meantime, let’s oogle and drool over this recipe because they’re out of this world. Enjoy!
- 1 pound baby carrots
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 4 slices cooked ham, cut in half
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 4 large english muffins
- 8 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons scallions, sliced
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 375℉.
- Cut off the leafy tops from the baby carrots, leaving a little bit of the stems. Peel them and cut in half, lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy and caramelized. Remove from oven and set to the side.
- Trim the asparagus and cut in half. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and set to the side.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat lightly spray with cooking spray or drizzle in a bit of olive oil and brown the ham slices on both sides. Set to the side.
- To make the hollandaise, bring a pot filled halfway with water, to a simmer. Place a bowl over the water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice until doubled in size. Slowly whisk in the melted butter, continuing to whisk until fully incorporated. Cook in the double boiler for about 4 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Remove from double boiler and cover. Set to the side. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin out with a bit of hot water.
- Crack the eggs into separate small dishes. Fill a large skillet or pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Add in the vinegar and bring back to a simmer. Stir the water with a spoon in one direction to create a whirlpool. While the water is spinning, carefully dip the eggs into the water. You can do a few at a time. Cook for about 5 minutes and remove from the water, making sure to drain well.
- Split the muffins and toast until lightly browned. Place a tomato slice on top of each half and then top with a slice of ham, carrots, asparagus, a poached egg, hollandaise sauce, pinch of paprika and scallions. Serve immediately.
- yields: 4 full eggs benedict (8 half)