Poached Egg on Artichoke Spread and Olive Bread

I picked up the idea for this brunch watching the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate. I’m not exactly sure what the theme of the show was, but Cat Cora spoke about a dish that she loves at a Santa Barbara bakery. From what I could gather, it was a piece of olive bread with artichoke spread and a poached egg. And for some reason, I was particularly curious about this combination. It might stem from my longtime obsession with artichokes, olives and toast! I put this on my list of things to try.

One of the reason’s I love cooking with Patrick (besides the fact that we both approve of disregarding expiration dates if we think it smells OK) is that he isn’t afraid to cook without a recipe. He came over early on Sunday morning to help prepare brunch for Mary and immediately asked for an apron, his duty and the recipe. I provided an orange apron (to match his attire) and only the idea of this dish and a variety of ingredients to play with. Patrick is a fantastic cook and improviser. Between a couple tastes, it came together deliciously. The combination of sweet artichokes and fresh eggs is delightful. I highly recommend using good farm eggs from the market and freshly baked olive bread (I picked mine up at Simple Kneads in Downtown Greensboro).

Poached Egg on Artichoke Spread and Olive Bread

Ingredients:

  • good olive bread
  • 1 box frozen artichokes
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • good eggs
  • fresh spinach

Assembly: Defrost the artichokes either overnight in the fridge or using the microwave. Remove all access water on the artichokes by gently squeezing in a clean kitchen towel. Toss artichokes and unpeeled garlic cloves in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in an oven at 375 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes. Once roasted, throw the artichokes and peeled/squeezed garlic cloves into a food processor. Pulse until chunky. Add ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper. At this point you can add more cheese to your taste.

Toast a slice of olive bread. Smear with artichoke spread. (Optional, throw this under the broiler to heat and brown.) Poach an egg and place on top of artichoke smeared toast.  Serve with sautéed fresh spinach in garlic and olive oil.

Low Carb Option: Hold back your tears and give up the olive toast. Top sautéed spinach with artichoke spread and poached egg.

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