boiled broccoli with poached scrambled eggs

“Instead of trying to figure out what to do about dinner, … put a big pot of water on the stove, light the burner under it, and only when it’s on it’s way to getting good and hot start looking for things to put in it.” – Tamar Adler, An Everlasting Meal

Here is a little something inspired by the first chapter of An Everlasting Meal. I know many of you are reading along with us, and I really hope you’re enjoying the book so far! I never thought I’d read a chapter entitled ‘How to Boil Water’ and enjoy it so much. I love the idea behind this chapter; cooking doesn’t need to be fussy or complicated. Just boil a pot of water and get on with it.

Around the time I read the chapter on boiling water, I saw this post on Food 52 in which Daniel Patterson shares his poached scrambled eggs. Patterson says he was searching for a new way to make scrambled eggs after his partner insisted they toss all of their non-stick pans, and after some experimenting, settled on poaching. Poaching the scrambled eggs means that they cook fast, in about 20 seconds, and the resulting eggs are as light and delicate as anything I’ve ever tasted. It’s a really interesting egg cooking technique, I hope you try it out. 

Those of you who are reading An Everlasting Meal along with us, have you cooked anything inspired by the book yet? If you have, please post pictures on The Muffin Myth Facebook page! Is this book changing the way you think about cooking or using ingredients? It’s totally rocking my world.

Also! If you’re interested in checking out some pictures from our recent trip to Italy’s Cinque Terre, I have created an album, which you can find here. I hope to be posting some recipes inspired by the trip shortly.


Boiled Broccoli with Poached Scrambled Eggs Recipe:

I poached the scrambled eggs in the same pot as I used to boil the broccoli, making this a one-pot dinner. The water was well salted, and had a greenish tinge from the broccoli, which I had removed from the boiling water with a slotted spoon. I think both of these things enhanced the flavour of the eggs.

Serves one person generously

Recipe inspired by An Everlasting Meal and adapted from Daniel Patterson


1 head of broccoli
2 eggs
salt for the water
olive oil for drizzling over everything
salt and pepper


First, put on a big pot of water and bring it to a boil. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, wash and chop the broccoli into pieces, including the stem and leaves. When the water is boiling vigorously, salt it generously and then taste it. It should taste of the sea.  Drop the broccoli into the boiling water, and let it boil until it is just barely tender, a few minutes.

Remove the broccoli from the pot with a slotted spoon and onto a waiting plate.

In a small bowl, whisk two eggs. Check that the water has returned to a light boil. Use a spoon and swirl the water to create a whirlpool. Slowly pour the eggs in a thin drizzle into the moving water. Cover with a lid, and count to 20. Remove the pot from the heat and very carefully pour the eggs into a mesh strainer. Give the strainer a bit of a shake to make sure the water has been removed from the eggs, and then move the eggs onto the same plate as the broccoli.

Drizzle the eggs and broccoli generously with good olive oil, and sprinkle with large flake sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Serve with a couple of slices of nice buttered bread.

What’s good about this? Broccoli is good for you, right? It is a great source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and high broccoli consumption is thought to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease and some cancers. Eggs are an amazing source of high quality protein, vitamin B12, choline (important for your brain), carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Eggs are satiating; a study found that those eating  a low fat diet which included 2 eggs a day for breakfast lost nearly *twice* as much weight as those eating a bagel breakfast with the same calories and mass, with no increase in blood cholesterol levels.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012



  1. Eileen says

    My first thought was “what on earth are poached scrambled eggs?” This sounds like a really interesting technique–I’ll have to give it a try. 🙂

  2. jacquie says

    what an interesting way to cook eggs – i’m not much of an egg eater but i might need to try this as they are a good source of protein.

    but it is the bread that really has my salvia flowing – what kind of is it? it looks like pumpernickle or something sprouted. did you make it?

    • themuffinmyth says

      Hi Jacquie! The bread is a Danish rye bread which I picked up in the south of Sweden while looking over at the bridge to Denmark. It was really good. So good, in fact, that I started flipping through my Scandinavian baking book to see if I could find a recipe. Maybe I’ll be posting one here in the future!

  3. Nandita says

    Thanks for visiting my space KAtie!!! You have a great space as well. Just loved this recipe and that shot of the broccoli head is awesome.
    As for your question about the hung curd, it is nothing but thick yogurt. It is made by tieing fresh yogurt in a muslin cloth so that all the whey drains out. Alternatively, you can use Greek style yogurt as well 🙂 Let me know if you have any more queries 🙂

  4. The Wimpy Vegetarian says

    I saw this method on Food52 too, but hadn’t tried it. I’m so glad to see this – the eggs look just delicious! Oh, and as a wild coincidence I’m just starting to read Tamar Adler’s book. The way she writes is so inspiring 🙂

  5. Leanne says

    I’ll have to try this method of cooking eggs, too! And I like the idea of putting the water on and then looking for dinner– I agree, cooking does not need to be fussy or complicated. I, sadly, can’t commit to reading this book club book because we’re moving in three weeks, but I’m very much looking forward to what others think of it and am going to try to read the next selection!

  6. Kate says

    O.M.G. I had no idea you could poach scrambled eggs! We have 13 chickens in the backyard and have A LOT of eggs to try to cook in exciting new ways, and let me tell you, it is NOT easy to come up with new ways all the time. This is absolutely perfect!

    • themuffinmyth says

      Yeah, you totally can poach scrambled eggs! It’s such an amazing and bizarre technique, and the eggs turn out light as a feather. Totally jealous of your backyard chickens! There’s no way I could have chickens in my little downtown apartment.


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