At lunch and at dinner, I’m an adventurous eater. Give me the choice, and I’ll almost always pick whatever is on offer that I haven’t had before, or haven’t had recently.
Not so at breakfast. I always want to eat exactly what I ate the day before, until suddenly I don’t. At that point, I always want to eat a different something every day.
It’s always porridge (Sunny Boy cereal and rolled oats, old style), until suddenly it’s always yogurt with berries and almonds, which continues every day until it’s always two boiled eggs and a piece of cheddar cheese.
So there’s no telling how long my current breakfast fixation will last, but I know exactly when it started: April 11, the day Al and I came home from Palm Springs, via Los Angeles.
Our step-daughter Kim, and her husband Max took us out for a good-bye breakfast at the Sweet Salt Food Shop in Toluca Lake.
“You’re going to love the Spinach and Gruyere Scramble,” Kim said. Privately I doubted that. Normally I don’t eat anything called a “scramble.” The word brings up memories I’d rather repress of weepy tofu scrambles in vegan restaurants.
But Kim knows her food, and she recommended them highly, so I took the plunge, expecting indifferent eggs rating high on the health-o-meter – spinach for breakfast! – but low on taste.
These eggs were light, puffy curds. The spinach was just wilted enough to soften it and the Gruyere added a slightly sharp, slightly salty flavor.
We got home late that night. The next morning I bought some baby spinach, and pulled out the Gruyere. Then, as any modern cook would do, I Googled, and found this short video by Chef Keith Snow of Harvest Eating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t35G9iQ0qO4
And there was the secret revealed: for light fluffy scrambled eggs, so much expanded that two eggs are plenty, you first buzz them in a blender with a little cream. Who knew?
I followed the instructions, with a few minor deviations, and there they were: excellent scrambled eggs, a cup of spinach at breakfast, and so sustaining that you’d never miss the toast.
As months have passed, I’ve played around with them. Sometimes more spinach, sometimes with bacon. With some oranges and strawberries, a blueberry coffee cake, and excellent bacon, they were even glam enough to serve for family brunch. They’re my late breakfast, yes, but also a psychic anchor: my current champion breakfast, the breakfast to have every day until it isn’t any more.
This recipe is based Keith Snow’s video. Here’s what I changed:
• I added less salt overall, because with the salt in the cheese, it’s salty enough for my taste.
• Instead of adding the salt to the egg mixture, I ground it onto the heated olive oil in the pan, just before I added the spinach, which helps keep the spinach green.
• I used less olive oil – a tablespoon per person, instead of what looks like two or three.
- per person:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk
- pepper to taste
- olive oil
- a large handful spinach
- 2 – 4 tablespoons grated Gruyere
- Break the eggs into your blender and add the cream and a good grind of pepper.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium fry pan.
- Add a grinding of coarse salt, then add the spinach. Wilt the spinach briefly, just until it softens. Then pour in the egg mixture, and grate the cheese over the eggs.
- To make big fluffy curds, stir as little as possible. Instead, wait until the eggs are partially cooked before folding them in from the sides of the pan toward the centre.