Eggs Pretty As Flowers Gracing A Bowl Of Green Goodness Make For A Perfect Spring Brunch
Purple eggs are festive enough for Easter breakfast or brunch, but the luscious color of this dish can be enjoyed anytime of year. Purples and fuchsia hued reds set against an array of green, are a truly gorgeous color combination to behold!
But this meal is not all looks, it’s substance is rooted in both wonderfully paired flavors and a bounty of nutrients. Soft boiled eggs, beets, sorrel & walnut pesto, stinging nettles and Jasmine rice all come together for a meal that’s as satisfying to your nutrient craving body, as it is to your tastebuds. This is classic brunch fare, but with a nutrient-dense focused twist!
To complete this quick and easy recipe you’ll need the instructions for my 10 Minute Walnut Sorrel Pesto and World’s Easiest Stovetop Jasmine Rice With Nettle Specks. I’ve accounted for both those components in the time needed to make this recipe. Start to finish, it should take you about 45 minutes.
As comfort-foody delicious as this dish is, you’re sneaking in a ton of nutrition with this simple meal. Beets and nettles are both packed with iron accompanied by many complimentary minerals and vitamins. Sorrel also contains iron and lots of vitamin C in addition to B vitamins and healing compounds like flavonoids. This is just the tip of the iceberg for these veggies, and paired with nutrient-dense, pasture raised eggs complete with runny yolks, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and walnuts in the pesto, it’s a perfect storm of fats and oils to help make all the nutrients contained in the meal bioavailable for your body to be amply absorbed.
The natural purple dye on the eggs is coming from rubbing them with beets! That blood red color powerful enough to stain the eggs, is the result of a class of phytonutrients called betalains. These compounds found in beets are a boon for your body. They:
- tone your blood
- reduce stress in your body
- provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support
Betalains are lost when heated for prolonged periods. Fortunately with this recipe you’re cooking the beets for a short enough time to retain most nutrients. Aside from betalains, beets are full of many other minerals and nutrients, such as: folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, Vitamin C, Iron and fiber.
Last but certainly not least, lemon zest is full of powerful antioxidants and many other extremely healthful compounds. Zest of lemon is known for having liver cleansing properties, to help strengthen capillaries and improve blood circulation. Pectin in lemon peel is a water-soluble fiber that helps to regulate normal appetite, lowers cholesterol and increases digestive and bowel health. These are just a handful of health benefits that you’ll experience from including a little more zest in your life!
This dish can handle quite a bit of lemon zest in both the pesto and as a garnish on the eggs. So zest it up! And get the most health benefits out of this delicious and nutritious meal.
The most important thing to note is that stinging nettles sting! If you haven’t worked with nettles you’re in for a funny culinary experience. It seems counterintuitive to eat a food with microscopic spiny thorns. Well, there not thorns and they’re not going to hurt you, but if you handle them for too long with bare hands your fingers will tingle for quite a while after.
More commonly nettles are used in soups and dishes where they’re cooked down for 10 or more minutes to neutralize the spiny hairs. I’ve found that chopped up nettle leaves, especially when lightly wilted, don’t sting when you pop them into your mouth. The stems are covered with more robust spiky hairs, so be careful to only use the leaves to top the rice bowl. If you have any concern, just stick with mixing the nettles into the hot rice. Steaming the nettles with the rice has a similar effect as blanching or cooking.
This step is rather fun! One you’ve boiled the eggs – 7 minutes for a perfectly moist and runny yolk, carefully crack and peel the shell. Gently rub off any residual egg film. Next cut a fresh slice of one of your cooked beets. Proceed to rub the egg with the beet slice and go around and around the whole of the egg until you’ve built up a rich enough color.
This requires some patience and time. The longer you rub the egg, the richer color you’ll achieve. At first you may see fissures become more vibrant, but eventually the cracks fade into the same color as the egg surface. To release more pigment from your beet slice, lightly scrape the surface of the slice so that it can “bleed” again, or simply cut a fresh slice.
Tools & Pantry Shopping List
The one tool you’ll need to make this recipe is a food processor for the pesto. If you don’t have one, you can also achieve a good pesto texture using a Vitamix with a tamper, or a hand blender with deep container to blend in. Here are some top picks along with all the staples you’ll need:
- The best of the best, walnuts from Corky’s Nuts.
- Deiss PRO Citrus Lemon Zester & Cheese Grater
- Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor
- Vitamix 5200
- Waring Light-Duty Quik Stik Immersion Blender (100% stainless steel wand)
- Stainless Steel Milkshake Cup
- 3 year Aged Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio from Italy (I know – a surprising source on Amazon!)
- Bariani California Olive Oil (The best EVOO you can get!)
- Food to Live Organic Walnuts (likely much fresher than what you can get at most supermarkets)
- Tellicherry Organic Black Peppercorns
For easy discounted Thrive Market shopping:
- Alter Eco Hom Mali Jasmine Rice (certified Gluten Free)
- or Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice (purple on purple – fun!!! certified Gluten Free)
- Thrive Market Organic Walnut Halves & Pieces (certified Gluten Free)
- Selina Naturally Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt (such a good deal at 1lb for $3.65!)
- Primordial Himalayan Sea Salt
- or Redmond’s Real Salt, Sea Salt (a very affordable option for mineral rich sea salt)