Dark Days: Pullet Eggs Poached in Quick Tomato and Spinach Sauce

January 10, 2011(updated on October 3, 2018)

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My March column in Grid Philly (it’s a local magazine dedicated sustainability) is all about eggs. I’ve come up with three seriously delicious egg recipes that are a little different from your standard scrambled or sunnyside up. Because the magazine devoted to keeping things local, I try to only develop recipes with ingredients that are currently available (or will be when the issue is available) from Philly’s 100 mile food radius. So frequently, my dark days eating overlaps with the recipes I’ve tested for my piece.

This dish is a quick tomato sauce, made from minced onions simmered in some cultured butter, a big can of crushed tomatoes and several generous handfuls of tunnel grown baby spinach. Once the sauce was thickened, I carved out four little hollows at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock and dropped in pullet eggs (smaller eggs from young chickens). I added a splash of water so that there’d be enough liquid to cook the tops of the eggs and put a lid on for a few minutes.

When it was time to serve, I ladled two eggs and their sauce over a piece of toasted rustic bread that I’d rubbed with some raw garlic. It was absolutely wonderful eating and all ingredients (save the bread – it was from Metropolitan Bakery) were purchased from the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market. This meal would be in heavy rotation around here, if only Scott liked poached eggs. As it stands, this one is a regular dining alone meal because it only take about 20 minutes from start to finish and it a complete meal (the green vegetable is right there in the sauce).

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23 thoughts on "Dark Days: Pullet Eggs Poached in Quick Tomato and Spinach Sauce"

  • There is a dish served in a Portland restaurant that opened this past year that is quite similar. I just love vegetables simmered with poached eggs cooked in the veggies. Also there is a Turkish egg dish where you mix thick Greek- style yoghurt with garlic. You spread it thinly on a plate. You plop poached eggs on top and then drizzle some hot spicy melted butter which is red colored form the spices. I usually use a combo of smoked paprika and Aleppo pepper in the butter mixture.
    Matt and I love poached eggs. Yum, breakfast for dinner.

  • I’m intrigued by cultured butter, which I’ve never had. I just googled it… where do you get yours?

    1. Sarah, I typically get the cultured butter from the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, although I’ve also been known to make my own from local cream treated with a bit of yogurt.

  • Somehow my wheat toast with rhubarb orange butter doesn’t sound quite as good as it did five minutes ago. This sounds amazing!!

  • That looks amazing. This may be a pretty awful question… but if I only have jars of whole tomatoes, can I, say, crush them beforehand instead? I feel like a total goof for asking.

    1. Taryn, don’t feel like a goof. You can totally crush your whole tomatoes. Either run them through the blender on a very low speed or just pour them into a bowl and use your hands until you’ve got a fairly even consistency.

  • Michael won’t eat eggs in any form but hard boiled or scrambled. But when confronted with a dish like this where the poached eggs become part of the sauce, I know he would go for it! I’m doing this later this week using our home canned chard and tomatoes. It’s a winner!

  • I made this for dinner tonight. My sons and I loved it. Great meal. I almost always have these ingredients on hand. Thanks!

  • I love this idea! There are so many ways to cook eggs (and being a part of the Dark Days challenge myself) I love to hear what others have come up with.
    Definitely unique, something I’m going to try, so thanks!

    1. I think lots of different cultures have their version of this dish. I know that it’s quite common in Italian peasant cooking too.

  • This sounds a lot like a dish called shakshouka that we have in algeria. there are many variations, but all delicous.

  • Marisa, Like Scott I too do not care for poached eggs so I just whisk them in a small bowl & then pour them into the hollows & cook a few minutes before adding everyone else’s eggs. Everybody’s happy!