There are moments in life when you really just need to laugh at yourself. I was in my early 20′s when I adopted this mentality because I realized embarrassing moments will and do happen and they really are funny and making light of the situation is probably the best way to go. This was put to the test around the same time and brings me to a story about eggs. Soft-boiled eggs in particular.
About 4-5 years ago, when I was still working for someone else, I had the chance to go to England and Germany to set up for a huge trade show that our company was attending. The trip was covered completely by the company and we stayed in a couple of extremely nice hotels, at least for me they were. Another girl (hi Alison!) and I shared a room with an Italian girl who was to be like our translator (although her English was only slightly better than our Italian) because we were going to be working with an entire team of Italians that the company worked with.
The morning after arriving we were supposed to meet down in the breakfast room and be introduce to one of the head coordinator men that we’d be meeting every morning. So the 3 of us shuttled downstairs and into the dining room. The buffet was incredible. Think of everything you’d ever want to eat in the morning and it was there, hot and ready for your grumbling tummy. I was kind of excited about this happening every morning.
We each grabbed a plate of food and headed over to the table where they were already sitting. We introduced ourselves to this extremely kind man, who spoke zero English and was only drinking espresso; we soon found out that none of the Italians ate breakfast, but instead preferred espresso by the gallon and maybe the occasional pastry. I looked down at my plate of croissants, fruit, and whatever else I managed to grab and thought how funny this small cultural difference was. Then I remembered seeing that they had hard boiled eggs and walked over to get one so I could get a little protein in my system since I new it was going to be a very long day. There were 3 sections, soft, medium, and hard cooked eggs. I grabbed one from what I thought was the hard-boiled bowl and placed it in one of those super cute little egg cups.
All 4 of us were sitting at the table, Alison and I talking with each other and the Italian’s to each other, when I decided to crack into my egg. As I struck the egg, I was immediately covered in runny yellow yolk! Luckily nobody else got sprayed, and as I was dabbing napkins into water and scraping the egg off my sweater I was trying very hard not to make eye contact with the Italians who, you could tell, were trying to help, but had no idea what to do either. Later I laughed about it, but seriously, I’ve never picked up another “hard-boiled” egg in a public place since.
I’ve always enjoyed eating the occasional egg, but always hard cooked; nothing could be runny or under-cooked otherwise it just grossed me out. Jump forward to around a year ago and something changed. I started to leave some of the yolk slightly under-cooked and gradually it became runnier. I enjoy eating them this way now and sometimes I wonder if I waited so long because of the slightly dramatic egg moment in my life. My husband on the other hand still will only eat them cooked all the way through, you can see his plate in the upper part of the image.
This recipe was certainly inspired by The Food Matters Cookbook, but also inspired by a pizza sauce I enjoy making and two of my favorite things, greens and socca. I love how they all came together and worked out perfectly. Joanne of Eats Well With Others chose this recipe and you can see everyone’s version here.
Curried Tomato Sauce with Sauteed Greens & Egg Over Socca / serves 4
This recipe has many steps and a long list of ingredients, but really they’re all pretty simple when broken down. You can prepare the sauce and hard-cooked eggs a day before too. I make something similar to this sauce for pizza, but instead of using Indian spices I use basil and oregano and puree the sauce at the end.
for the sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch red chili flakes
pinch of salt
14oz. tomatoes with their juices or 3 cup chopped fresh
for the greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 big handfuls of mixed greens (kale, chard, collards, spinach), washed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 clove garlic, sliced
pinch of salt
4 medium to hard cooked eggs
cilantro, for serving
Prepare the socca as directed and cook while making the tomato sauce below. Also cook the eggs at this point too if you haven’t already pre-cooked them.
For the sauce
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in all the spices and salt, then pour in the tomatoes along with all their juices. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
For the greens
Heat the oil in a heavy pan, once hot toss in the greens, garlic, and salt. Cook until the greens begin to turn a brighter green and wilt down. Remove from heat.
To assemble, place each socca on a plate, divide the tomato sauce equally and spoon over the socca. Then top with greens and an egg sliced in half and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.