Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Recipe for Eggs Fried in Olive Oil with Wilted Greens and Sumac

Eggs Fried in Olive Oil with Wilted Greens and Sumac
When I was a kid, my mom used to fry eggs in bacon grease. Mom would cook the eggs until they were slightly crispy on the edges, and mom's fried eggs, with a whisper of bacon grease flavor, were something I loved for breakfast back in the day. Fast forward quite a few years, and I now like olive oil much more than bacon grease, so I have no idea why it took me so long to try this way of cooking eggs. The idea of frying eggs in olive oil is something I thought might be a nice option for Phase One Breakfasts that so many people are looking for this time of year. If you're not on a diet, or not on phase one, I'd add some 100% whole wheat toast to this for a breakfast that might just be better than mom used to make.

Some people are probably going to look at these photos and say that I'm overcooking my eggs, but I've always liked fried eggs just like you see them here, with that slight crispiness on the edges, the top sunny-side up, and the yolk still quite soft. My mother was cooking breakfast for 12 people, so her eggs often got a little crisp on the edges, and I grew up eating them that way. If you like softer or harder eggs, just adapt the recipe so the eggs are cooked the way your mother used to make them.

If you're going to photograph the eggs for your food blog, better make an extra in case one breaks, so that's why you see three eggs in this pan! Start by heating about one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick pan. When the oil is fairly hot, gently break eggs into the pan and season generously with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Turn the heat down just a little.

In a smaller pan, heat 2 tsp. olive oil, add about 3 handfuls of baby spinach or arugula leaves, and cook just until the greens are barely wilted. Turn off heat but keep greens in the pan until you're ready to plate so they stay warm.

I cook the eggs about 4-5 minutes to get this slight crispiness on the edges with the yolks still mostly soft, but cooking time will depend on how you like your eggs.

Don't worry about using too much olive oil, because as you can see, most of it will be left in the pan when the eggs are done.

When eggs are done to your liking, put the greens on a plate, top with the eggs, and sprinkle over a little bit of Powdered Sumac. (Paprika would make a good substitute if you don't have Sumac.) Serve hot and enjoy!

Eggs Fried in Olive Oil with Wilted Greens and Sumac
(This recipe makes eggs for one person, but increase as needed. Recipe created by Kalyn who doesn't know where she first heard about eggs fried in olive oil, but it certainly came from a cookbook or food magazine somewhere.)

1 T + 2 tsp. olive oil
2 large eggs
3 handfuls baby spinach or baby arugula leaves (other greens can be used, but they will take longer to cook)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Powdered Sumac, for seasoning cooked eggs (optional, or use paprika if you don't have Sumac)

You need two pans to make this. I used a large non-stick frying pan and a smaller non-stick frying pan.

Heat 1 T olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, gently break eggs into pan, season generously with fresh ground pepper and a little salt, and turn down heat to medium. (If the eggs spread out into long "ribbons" of white, use a rubber scraper to gently push them back into a nice rounded egg shape.) Let eggs cook while you wilt the greens.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in the smaller frying pan. When the oil is hot, add 3 handfuls of baby spinach or arugula leaves, lower heat a little and stir just until the greens wilt, less than 2 minutes. Turn off heat but leave greens in pan to keep warm. (You can salt and pepper the greens if you'd like, but I didn't.)

Check eggs to see if they're getting done to your liking and decide whether you want to flip them to cook the yolks more. (When I make this I cook the eggs 4-5 minutes at medium heat to get the slightly crisp edges, so if you like softer eggs, they will take less time.)

Put the hot wilted greens on a plate, arrange fried eggs over the greens, and sprinkle with Sumac or other seasoning of your choice. Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This would make a wonderful Phase One Breakfast for the South Beach Diet, or any other low-glycemic eating plan. If you're not a fan of wilted greens, serve the eggs with something like sauteed mushrooms or sliced tomatoes for phase one. For phase 2 or 3, I would add some toaste made with South Beach Diet friendly 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

More Interesting Ideas with Eggs:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Tuscan Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Red Onion, Garlic, Parmesan, and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mexican Baked Eggs with Black Beans, Tomatoes, Green Chiles, and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Asparagus with Fried Egg and Parmesan from Serious Eats
Five Ways to Eat a Fried Egg from The Kitchn
Fried Eggs and Shrimp from Sunday Nite Dinner
Asian Style Fried Eggs from Pikelet and Pie
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

This interesting way to serve eggs, over a bed of greens and seasoned with Sumac, is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Anna from Anna's Cool Finds. WHB is now under the capable management of Haalo, from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, who's celebrating the four year anniversary of her blog this week!

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More to Chew On:


  1. I completely agree about the browned edges -they really add a wonderful flavor. I also fry my eggs in a dry nonstick pan, but the olive oil would help with the browning. I'll have to give that a try.

  2. oooh I like them a little crispy on the edge too, delicious breakfast Kalyn!

  3. I've been frying my eggs in olive oil for years now, and have to say I like re taste and the crisp edges better than butter .

  4. I have a huge thing of sumac in my cupboard from World Spice in Seattle. Thanks for giving me something to do with it! This will be my lunch tomorrow :)

  5. Hi Kalyn,
    I've just started a low carb lifestyle for 2010 and hoping to lose weight. My brother started this approach to eating and has lost nearly 30 pounds since August.

    I'm very happy to have discovered your website and looking forward to reading it regularly!


  6. That crispness from the bacon really takes me back to my mom's kitchen

  7. You know, I have never thought to fry my eggs in olive oil either. And I fry EVERYTHING in olive oil. Thanks for the idea!

  8. I've heard about this technique before but have never tried it. I must say the eggs look done exactly the way I like them!

  9. I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes eggs with the crispy edges! And here for years I've thought I was probably cooking them "wrong." I agree with Margaret that I really like these eggs fried in olive oil better than eggs fried in butter! The flavor of the olive oil is wonderful with the eggs and the egg yolk mixed with the greens is great here too.

  10. This would be a lovely breakfast. I think I would be very happy eating this as a light dinner, too. A slice of good, crusty bread and I'm good to go. ;)

  11. I too have sumac in my recipe cabinet...I really only use it for one thing, dressing for fatoosh salad dressing...and I am glad to have something else to try it with. Thanks!

  12. I love crispy edges on my eggs, too! I always fry my eggs in olive oil, and I like them with some zaatar sprinkled over. So good! I love the idea of serving the eggs over greens, but, if you were to use bread, you can also oven fry the eggs with olive oil and zaatar by placing the eggs, oil, and spice in the hollow of a whole wheat pita and then place the whole thing in the toaster.

  13. um... wonder what I'll have for breakfast in the morning ... um actually I may have to have this for dinner tonight!

  14. I smiled when I pulled up your photo. I have been eating fried eggs over wilted spinach several times a week. I agree, the warm gooey rich egg yolks are delicious with the greens!
    I really need to invest in some sumac. . . I was eyeing the wild stuff along the road today. Don't worry, I didn't stop.
    Thanks for the encouragement and delicious inspiration to cook and eat well.

  15. I love eggs! Now I have a new way to try them!

  16. I love eggs like this with wilted greens, but the sumac is a new twist! I love the tart spiciness it brings to a dish. Looking forward to trying, them.

  17. I love Sumac. Never tried it on eggs though.

  18. I always fry my eggs in olive oil. And my mother always had a jar of bacon grease for frying eggs and potatoes. That would be a prefect first course for us - maybe 1 egg per person. It's a challenge finding nice first courses that are not high in carbs! (other than eggs - but we love eggs)

  19. i use vegetable oil spray to make my eggs just b/c of fat, calories, etc... bacon grease---girl, i'd keel over! LOL, but it sure would smell good! This plate looks divine!

  20. I still love eggs fried in bacon grease but use olive oil for a healthier option most of the time. I love this wilted greens idea and have never used sumac. Thanks for the ideas.

  21. Yum! Gotta try this with the greens. ;-)


  22. Inspiring! It's 10 a.m. here in Manila I'll make this dish for brunch. Right now.

  23. After listening to Molly (of Orangette)'s inaugural podcast on the subject of fried eggs, I've been inspired to make my own. My mother never made fried eggs-- or much of anything edible, for that matter-- but I'm not sure why I've never incorporated them into my own cooking. I've done poached eggs over wilted greens, so this will be a nice variation on an old favorite.

  24. Well ... how simple can awesome be. These were fabulous Kalyn!

  25. Thanks Tanna!

    So glad everyone is liking this, and I see I'm not keeping up on comments too well, but I do read every one as they are published, and appreciate them!

  26. So this will be my breakfast, tomorrow. I always cook my eggs with olive oil and make the edges crispy but I've never served them with the wilted greens. I think it sounds really delicious...better than with toast, even. Thanks!

  27. As a newcomer to the web, I am generally searching on the internet for info that can support me. This has been 1 which is. Thank you!


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