Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Poached Eggs on Nduja Toasts


Move over avocado toasts, there is a new girl in town! I don’t know about you, but I jumped on the avocado toast bandwagon, and I, for one, certainly enjoyed my share of them. I toasted crusty pieces of Italian bread and then slathered the slices in ripe avocado and finally topped the toasts with a soft poached egg. Recently I came across a photo of nduja toast, and now I am hooked.
If you are not familiar with it, nduja is a Calabrian specialty. It is a spicy, spreadable pork product traditionally made with parts of the pig, such as the shoulder and belly, as well as tripe, roasted peppers, and a mixture of spices. Although spicy, it is more full-flavored than taking your breath away hot. I can no longer eat very spicy food, but I love nduja and enjoy it often. It used to be very difficult to find nduja outside of Italy, but now a couple of different US companies make a quality product. We buy ours from TempestaSalumi.com https://tempestaartisansalumi.com but it can also be bought through Amazon.com. (See link below recipe)
The trick to this recipe is using the right ingredients. I use a crusty bread made here in Michigan at Zingerman’s bakery called True North. It is made from milled Michigan hard wheat and is delicious with a very chewy crust. Any crusty artisan bread would work just fine. After toasting my bread slices, I brush them liberally with our own extra virgin olive oil. I then slather on some nduja, covering the bread completely, and then top with some sautéed spinach. Any of your favorite sautéed greens from coma di rape (rapini), Swiss chard, or even kale would work. To finish the dish, all you need is a perfectly poached egg. After lots of trial and error, I have learned that putting a little white vinegar in the poaching water, and by placing the cracked egg in a fine strainer ensures that the egg holds its shape. You want a soft poached egg so that when you cut into it, the yolk pours over the toast, almost like a sauce. I enjoy these toasts for lunch, although you could also serve it as a first course for dinner.