By Ren Behan
When chickens are happy (nice food, a bit of sunshine and plenty of freedom to peck around) they lay tastier eggs. So, it makes sense to buy the freshest and best eggs you can afford. Free range and organic are two indicators of a properly ‘good egg.’
Eggs are incredibly versatile and are the ultimate natural ‘fast food’ containing high quality nutrients, protein, vitamins and minerals. Many people wrongly associate eating eggs with high levels of cholesterol, when in fact, eating eggs as part of a balanced diet can be good for you.
There’s nothing better, in my book, than perfectly cooked, soft-boiled eggs with a yolky centre. Simply pop your eggs into a pan of cold water, bring it to the boil and set the timer to three minutes. After three minutes, drain your eggs, rinse them under cold water (to stop them from cooking any more) and then eat them straightaway. Hot, buttered toast soldiers or fresh, seasonal asparagus spears make perfect dipping partners.
If you’re better at making hard-boiled eggs, peel them then chop them up finely and add to a potato salad. Or, slice hard-boiled eggs and use them as a garnish for open sandwiches with plenty of fresh dill for a Scandinavian or Eastern European twist.
Omelettes are another favourite in our house – watch Georgie’s video on How to make a Herb omelette here, or add chopped mushrooms and tomatoes for a quick breakfast or even supper.
If you find yourself with fresh eggs to use up, try your hand at making some fresh pasta. Adding egg yolks to a creamy pasta sauce will add extra richness, too. Or make some quick homemade aioli – a type of mayonnaise with fresh garlic and olive oil – perfect for dipping in vegetable crudités or served with baked or poached salmon.
A great rain day activity with kids is to make your own pizza dough – you can also crack an egg into the centre. Try Jamie’s recipe for pizza with Egg, prosciutto, artichokes, olives, mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil for an authentic taste of Italy.
Eggs whites can easily be used up by making a batch of macaroons or meringues, or try Jamie’s recipe for a Summer berry Pavlova with strawberries, raspberries and cream for the perfect afternoon treat.
Ren Behan is a mum of two and a food writer – find out more at www.renbehan.com