spinach and smashed egg toast

What do you make yourself for lunch, if nobody else is around? I bet you’re hoping I’m going to say something ambitious, like “a gently poached chicken breast, cooled and sliced across a vegetable salad with a hand-whisked vinaigrette,” because that happens, ever. Or maybe you’re hoping that this is where I tell you about my secret peanut butter fluff with crumbled potato chip sandwich habit, alas, I’m not even interesting enough at lunchtime to be scandalous. The sad truth is, if I’ve by some miracle found a couple hours to get work done in relative peace, I’m ecstatic, and I find hunger an inconvenience. If I must succumb, whatever I make for lunch must be quick, and tends to fall into the Stuff On Bread category: avocado, olive oil, lemon and sea salt, peanut butter (always low-brow) and jam (always fancy), or, smashed soft egg.

bread, spinach, dijon, shallot, goat cheese, eggs
minced shallot

I made a big fuss about poaching eggs a few years ago because I loved them but had a hard time getting them right at home. Once I did, I was triumphant, but nevertheless, have probably not made one in over a year, or not since I discovered that there’s an even simpler route to that cooked-white-loose-yolk-soft-edge nirvana. Soft-boiled eggs require no vinegar, no teeming water and no whirlpools, but they peel like a dream. My favorite way to eat them is broken open on toasted and buttered whole-grain bread, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

two ounces of baby spinach

baby spinach, barely wilted
simmered with a spoonful of cream
a little slick of dijon makes a difference
a small heap of spinach
a five- to six-minute egg
soft-boiled eggs, surprisingly easy to peel
ready for smashing, my favorite part

But sometimes, sometimes I make an effort. And when I do, it looks like this — the same smashed egg but wedged between it and the toast is a bed of spinach (a handful leftover from last night’s salad greens is perfect), gently wilted with minced shallots, a smidge of cream, a few cheese crumbles and a near-invisible slick of Dijon mustard that makes all the difference. It sounds fancy and it might feel a tiny bit fussy the first time you make it. (I have not forgotten that the cardinal rule of quick meals is that they must only require the use of one pot and here, but since you’re alone in the kitchen, I think that a pot only used to boil an egg is, pffft, still totally clean, right?) But if you’re anything like me, you’re going to make a habit out of it and by the second time you make it, you’ll have it down. You might even plan ahead, keeping a container of minced onion in the fridge, making sure you hold back a bowlful of spinach at dinner, etc. But beyond the fact that it’s nutritious (a whole bowl of spinach), indulgent (toast! butter! cheese!) and crazy delicious (toast! butter! cheese!), I think you’re going to make it again and again for the same reason I do, which is that smashing an soft-centered egg on toast with a big fork — essentially, the kitchen equivalent of popping bubble wrap — is about the most fun one can have on a quick workday break. And with that, I’m off to do it again.

spinach and smashed egg toast
spinach and smashed egg toast

Previous Egg Toasts and Sandwiches, which I apparently have a thing for: Scrambled Egg Toast, Soft Eggs with Buttery Herb-Gruyere Toasts, Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon, Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese and, on Cup of Jo, my crazy-lazy-quick riff on a deli Egg and Cheese Sandwich.

One year ago: Over-the-Top Mushroom Quiche
Two years ago: Apple Tarte Tatin and French Onion Soup
Three years ago: Tangy Spiced Brisket, Radicchio, Apple and Pear Salad and New York Cheesecake
Four years ago: Artichokes Braised in Lemon and Olive Oil, Chewy Amaretti Cookies and Artichoke-Olive Crostini
Five years ago: Shaker Lemon Pie and Spring Panzanella
Six years ago: Mixed Berry Pavlova, Artichoke, Cranberry Bean and Arugula Salad and Arborio Rice Pudding

Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast

I use this spinach method, scaled up, all the time to make a quick, lazy creamed spinach with dinner. (A more classic one is here. An even more gussied one is here.) Creme fraiche could replace the cream (unlike yogurt or sour cream, it doesn’t curdle when heated).

1 large egg
1 slice of your favorite hearty bread
2 ounces baby spinach
1 pat butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot or white onion
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon crumbled cheese, such as goat cheese or feta

Bring small pot of water to boil. Lower egg into it and boil for five (for a runnier egg, as seen in top photo) to six (for a less-runny but still loose egg, as seen in bottom two photos) minutes.* Rinse egg briefly under cool water and set aside.

Wash your spinach but no need to dry it. Put a small puddle of water in the bottom of a skillet and heat it over medium-high. Once the water is simmering, add the spinach and cook it until it is just wilted, and not a moment longer. Transfer it to a colander and press as much of the excess water out with the back of a fork as possible. No need to wring it out here; we’re hoping to those lovely wilted leaves intact. Keep that fork; you’ll use it again in a moment.

Put your bread in to toast.

Dry your skillet if it is still wet. Heat a pat of butter in it over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook them for a few minutes, until translucent and a little sweet. Return spinach to skillet and add cream. Simmer them together for one minute, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put your toast on your plate and spread it thinly with Dijon mustard. Heap the spinach-and-shallot mixture on top, then add the crumbled cheese. Peel your egg; doing so under running water can make this easier. Once peeled, place it on your spinach toast, smash it open with the back of that fork you used a minute ago, and sprinkle it with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Eat immediately.

* When you’re eating a soft-boiled egg right away, six minutes is the way to go. But here, since we boil the egg and then prepare the rest of the toast, it continues to cook and firm up a bit in its shell, so I’ve found that a 5 to 5 1/2 minute egg will give you the equivalent in the end.

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312 comments on spinach and smashed egg toast

  1. Eggs are my go-to meal for when I’m alone and need to feed myself. I’ve never soft boiled an egg before but that runny egg as seen in the top photo looks delicious. I can’t wait to try this recipe (everything I make from your site turns out perfect).

  2. Mahri

    …or use your spinached skillet to gently fry the egg over easy for a truly one pot meal. I like to slide the egg onto a moderately hot pan with a little oil, let the bottle firm up a bit (30-60 seconds) then flip the egg to to firm up the other side (takes about 30 seconds)… viola: coddled egg with runny yolk.

  3. People always assume food bloggers are constantly eating these elaborate, well planned recipes! Seriously, who has the daily time for that. I’m definitely a simple, egg sandwich kind of girl for lunch when I’m cooking for myself. Love a spinach-feta combination. Haven’t thought of adding dijon to the mix. Perhaps this will be today’s lunch!

  4. LOVE this! this looks so good!! My ‘alone lunch’ is rare, as ‘lunch’ in my eyes, can be anything from yogurt to cereal to an apple with a piece of feta. If I am home, though, around lunch time and alone, I always go for black beans with salsa and corn, 1 or 2 whole wheat tortillas and some sour cream. Yum!

    Next time around, it will be this egg toast. obvi. :)

  5. Oh my goodness, I’m quite certain I’ll make this for a quick post-Zumba dinner tonight! Though, I think I’ll substitute a baked sweet potato for the toast (already done, in the fridge). Thanks for the idea!!

  6. Susie

    We do this with asparagus (steamed and then served with shaved parmesean and a poached or soft boiled egg), spinach (without the toast), blackbeans (a fried egg works too), and on top of open faced grilled cheese (sounds wrong, but is really, really right). Am now tempted both to make your dish and to spend more time thinking of things that can be improved with a soft boiled egg on top.

  7. Jamie

    This might be a dumb question, but why not just wilt the spinach in the butter, rather than blanching it and straining it?

  8. When no one is around I survive on toast topped with cheese and avocado. I could eat that for every meal. Might have to throw an egg on there next time just so I can smash it!

  9. Yum. My go-to lunch (or breakfast, because what’s better than eggs?) is an over easy egg sandwich. Always with gooey yolk, always on sourdough, and with a generous layer of mayonnaise that is sometimes spiked with sriracha.

  10. Laura

    This is by far my favorite “alone lunch”, although I usually top it with Sriracha, rather than using Dijon. So simple, so much flavor.

  11. I think grilled cheese is my solo lunches. Nothing better than cheese and carbs when alone. I love you documented this toast, since it is one of my breakfast favorites.

  12. Mara

    Funny you should mention the scandalous lunch… lately I’ve been waiting for my kids to fall asleep at naptime (they’re almost-2 and almost-4), then making myself a chocolate-peanutbutter, banana sandwich. Which I don’t have to share. BWAHAHAHAHA.

    1. deb

      Mara — Shamefully, I adore waiting until my son is napping to have a peaceful lunch. Plus, I’m usually making him something different and can only complete one task at a time.

      Amora mustard — I didn’t meant to taunt any Francophiles with it. I grabbed a jar of it at the same online shop where I found the lentils de puy in the last recipe: It made the shipping more justifiable. ;)

  13. OMG that looks so delicious I need to make that right away for dinner now (it’s dinnertime here in Europe) – but since I have no spinach at hand I will use ramsons instead.

  14. Perfect inspiration! I was hungry and just went and made myself a late brunch of your dish! Turned out wonderfully and was just the thing I needed to get myself going for this snowy(but sunshiny) day in northern Canada!Thanks!

  15. First, I’m coveting your Amora French mustard. This reminds me of a lovely green salad served in France that’s topped with a soft-cooked egg. I love the silky yolk as it breaks and gently falls over the leaves. Your dish brings to mind that salad, but sitting on toast. A gilded lily, indeed. Nice.

  16. I have never had a soft-boiled egg, but I don’t know why not — I love poached eggs! This may be dinner – I even have spinach in the fridge that is about ready to go over the edge….

  17. Susan

    I’ve not been much of an egg eater until I started making your street vender egg sandwich for a quick meal. In fact, I prepare my egg using ingredients in this recipe! I saute finely chopped shallot or onion, add the spinach to wilt then add the egg and top with grated pepper jack. It’s become my favorite fast meal..and the family loves it, too! I must try this version for my husband..he loves his yolks soft.

  18. Tracy

    Great! I have been on a soft-yolk binge in the past week which I satisfied with your huevos rancheros recipe this weekend. This one looks even healthier. Thanks! BTW, your Ina Garten coq au vin is just as addictive as you said it would be. I’m finishing up my first batch, which I had frozen into portions, and am already dreaming of making my next batch, with double or triple the sauce, as you said. I drool over your recipes almost every day and can’t wait to keep trying them.

  19. Try it with hummus! :) So yummy.
    I make something similar but spread hummus on the toast instead of the dijon mustard. And then I only wilt the spinach and sprinkle with fresh black pepper and sea salt. Add an egg and Wa-La Perfection. Love love love….my go to breakfast, lunch, dinner. :)

  20. ciddyguy

    OMG girl,

    This looks so scrumptious. I love eggs, especially with soft yolks, love good bread, and love good greens and bacon, though I’ll use feta instead.

    I think I still have 2 eggs left in the fridge, just need to get the rest, and I think I can get some loose greens from the produce isle at my local grocery, grab some bacon at the meat counter, and find the rolls.

    If for some reason the bacon from the deli doesn’t produce much fat, I’ll add a bit of olive oil to the pan and what drippings there is, scrape and swirl around and use that to wilt the greens before I assemble.

    I think this will be my dinner tonight.

  21. Krista

    LOL. Soft boiled eggs over buttery toast has been my comfort food for years. Heavily seasoned with salt and pepper and occasionally hot sauce. I slum it sometimes by ripping up the bread and cooking the egg to a runny consistency in microwave. Looks horrific but oh so yummy. Also – will add any cheese on hand.

  22. joan

    Perfect timing. I just read Cook’s Illustrated article on how to cook the perfect soft cooked egg. Their method seems genius. It uses a small amount of water to steam the eggs (up to 6 at a time) for 6 and 1/2 minutes. It’s in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue.

  23. Anna

    Soft boiled eggs have been my downfall lately. Or maybe just a lifesaver.
    So easy and satisfying.

    Will have to give the wilted spinach idea a try, probably with some sort of creole twist just for fun. And maybe serve the whole thing on grits? (Dad had some fried grits when we were out today. Basically leftover grits fried til golden like polenta/corn meal mush. Rich and tasty.)

  24. Barbara

    This was so delicious!!! Great recipe—-I will def be making this for myself again. I too love “perfect” poached eggs but hate the work!!! This egg was PERFECT! But I did have a bit of trouble peeling it—but so worth it! Thanks

  25. I definitely go for soft-boiled eggs instead of poached too–largely because my poaching technique is, um, less than satisfactory. :) This is exactly the kind of meal that works best as lunch for one–super fast and easy and delicious!

  26. Lauren

    These photos are among the nicest you have done ( and that’s saying something!) Your “eye” for color and design is really showcased with a simple subject like this. They DO make one’s mouth water, and one’s eyes happy too. That triple frypan montage is awesome, ( a kitchen poster for sale? we’d all buy one wouldn’t we?) and anyone who can make a pan of simmering water with an egg in it look like art is a true genius! Thanks for ALL the inspiration, gustatory and visual, both.

  27. I have recently rediscovered soft boiled eggs too. dont remember what started it, but it’s the simplest way to get a soft yolk. I’ve even gone so far as getting a couple different holders, and my kids even send interesting ones ….seem to have a collection that even the g’kids can pick out their own holder. Im surprised they even like digging into them.

    I tore this page out of a parents magazine one day…never did make the warmer, which was probably the purpose of the saving of the page originally.

  28. Amanda

    Deb: 2 things:
    1. I make something similar to this for dinner constantly, the toast, the spinach, the egg, except I add another layer which is canned white beans heated in a saucepan with whatever white cheese I have laying around til the bean goo mixes with the cheese goo. deleche.
    2. Last week I read the post on the lentil-chickpea salad & immediately went home & made a terribly bastardized version of it, mostly egregious in the fact that I threw in a whole bag of broccoli slaw b/c it had been in the crisper too long. I’m sorry. It was still delicious. I did notice that it gave me a lot of, um, indigestion. I wonder if it’s b/c I skipped the rinsing the lentils step? (or maybe all that raw broccoli stemmage?)

  29. Recent soft boiled egg convert, here! And since the temperature in Denver dropped to near-Arctic levels overnight, this warm lunch is calling my name.

  30. Mags @ From the Mind of Mags

    I am a new follower b/c you come recommended by a friend. i LOVE this. It looks so yummy! And your photos are gorgeous! Wishing you a productive day.

  31. Happy Valley Chow

    Dannnggg that looks incredible! Nothing beats a good egg sandwich in my book! Love your photography as well :)

  32. Liz

    Love this. until now I would have said my go-to lunch would have been your scrambled eggs on toast with goat’s cheese, but I think I will have to add this in to the mix!

  33. This looks amazing and I love my fried eggs over easy. Alas, I’m stuck eating non-runny eggs for a while, so I’ll have to bookmark this for tasty delicious lunches later!

  34. i have three kids 4 and under. i TOTALLY get what you mean about hunger being an inconvenience when there is a possibility of uninterrupted work time — that is my time now, but i am on my way to the kitchen to make it for my and my telecommuting husband right now =D LOVE your blog, been making your recipes for years. THANK YOU for what you do

  35. Deee-liciousness!

    This is one of my very favourite meals, for lunch or breakfast! I heart you Deb. You’re writing and recipes inspire me. :)

  36. This is a really great way to get “all of the egg”- it can be so disappointing when the egg whites are still floating around the pan from a poached egg! Plus, the smashing looks pretty fun too. :)

  37. Delish!!!
    I always adore a soft boiled egg, peeled, lay whole on top of a salad and then cut it open and it dribbles all over the place!!! Great with a little bit of soft goat cheese on the side too!

  38. Alexa

    This look delish! My new addiction is a fried soft boiled egg (soft boiled, then coated in flour/buttermilk/egg/panko, then deep fried), smashed atop toast, fried rice, non-fried rice, pretty much anything is better with an egg on top!

  39. sorry to leave a second comment so soon — i just finished eating this and it’s as yummy as it looks. so nice to have a little bit of a decadent lunch. side note — i recently wrote about how our bodies can’t absorb the iron and calcium from spinach unless we consume it with a good amount of vitamin c. i’m going to cut up some strawberries for dessert ;)

  40. Nicola

    Looks delicious, and I’m not really an egg person (except in cakes, of course…). Do you think a nice pesto would work in place of mustard? I find mustard too strong a flavour usually. I’m patiently waiting on your book arriving (I’m in the UK, and ordered it a few days ago after reading the sample pages on Amazon), so going to start with this recipe :)

    1. deb

      Nicola — You could use anything you’d enjoy with eggs instead of Dijon. What it provides is a little pop of flavor. Soft spinach and sweet shallots with egg, salt, pepper and cheese are good, but can use a little brightness.

  41. Jen

    These are my favorite type of Smitten Kitchen recipe– the delicious, not too time-consuming, indulgent little meals that I know no one else in my family will eat, but are so appealing to me! I have a collection of them bookmarked from your archives and consult them whenever I happen to have the house to myself. Thanks for keeping me fed!

  42. danielle

    Hi Deb- No need to post this comment, just wanted to make you aware that comments #55 and #57 are perhaps worth your time to remove.

  43. aaahh Stuff on Toast, my all time favorite!! thank you for glorifying this today. we have a phrase in my house for this same thing, coined by my oldest and best friend: peasant breakfast. though it’s just as often for lunch or dinner or midnight snack as it is for breakfast. totally formulaic: toast, flavorful base (runny cheese, dijon mustard, smashed beans, all of the above), green things, runny egg. and now I am making this for dinner TONIGHT!

  44. oh gosh, this is aimed at Seanna Lee up there – if you are temporarily off the runny yolks due to heightened vulnerability (maybe a baby coming?), they now have eggs that are pasteurized in the shell. I have NO idea how they do it, but I know they exist.

  45. Leigh

    Oh man oh man I often find myself hungry with only eggs, bread and spinach in the house, why did I never think of this before?

  46. Truly rookie question here, but when you’re starting the eggs, do you put the eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, and count the time from there, or start with warm water, or boil the water first, then add the eggs and start the time from that point? Maybe it doesn’t matter, but I just wanted to ask before I completely over-cooked or under-cooked my eggs!

    1. deb

      Emily — This recipe presumes you’re taking the eggs cold from the fridge. The eggs are placed in already-boiling water so it doesn’t matter what temperature it began at.

  47. Terri

    Hello :) Love soft boiled eggs.

    There is a place in St. Louis that does this…THING, in which the soft boiled egg is breaded and must be flash fried. It’s crispy on the outside, full of flavor, and a perfect soft boiled egg inside. They serve it with a spinach salad. I’m like Pavlov’s dog with this salad, just talking about it and I’m salivating.

    Can you teach us how to make that??? :D
    Thanks, hope your book tour was fabulous!

  48. Kris McG

    Thank you, thank you! I recently had “six-minute eggs” on a Salad Nicoise in a wonderful find of a restaurant in Tempe, AZ (House of Tricks) and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. However, I am not so inclined to make a salad w/ seared Ahi and grilled potatoes at the drop of the hat I’m thrilled to have this tasty idea for those wonderful eggs.

  49. ATG

    Why wouldn’t you use the same technique you use for hard boiled eggs i.e. placing the eggs in cold water, bringing it up to a boil, and then letting it sit for fewer minutes than you would a hard boiled egg? What really is the benefit of that technique, as opposed to one like this that starts with boiling water?

  50. Alex G

    Haha, I love spinach and cheese and egg! Though lately spinach has been leaving that unfortunate slightly metallic taste in my mouth. And mom purchased that same exact mini pot (All-Clad?) for the sole purpose of boiling an egg or two as well. So convenient!

  51. Carli

    I just made this for dinner! Yum!! I used half of an asiago bagel because I ran out of bread, and it was delicious! I love your blog. I also made the blood orange olive oil cake last night!

  52. jennifer

    I have making this almost exact same thing lately with English muffins, whatever greens and cheese are in the fridge, and a runny fried egg. My favorite combo so far has been raw arugula and Beemster Gouda. I love the soft-boiled egg idea. I definitely want to try that!

  53. Ally

    Yum! Lately, I have been fond of any dish with an egg on top. The recipe in your cookbook for fingerling potatoes, sieved eggs (I do medium boiled and it works fine) and pickled celery has been in heavy rotation in my house. I will be making this one soon! Can’t wait to try it with ramps instead of spinach… Since spring is finally here?? Where did you get your bread from? I know there’s not a shortage of bakeries in NYC, but that looks particularly good!

  54. yumm – this is absolutely my kind of lunch (or breakfast, or even a lazy dinner for one). My favourite way to cook the egg is to place in cold water, bring to the boil and time it for exactly one minute ( no more, can even be less for a runny yolk ), then turn off the heat and let the egg sit in the pan until it’s cool. Such a portable snack too!!

  55. Soft boiled eggs are my favourite – I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant and unable to eat them at the moment – as soon as the baby arrives and I’m settled at home this will be the first thing I make! Yummo! :)

  56. I lived in Paris for a year and the government lost my paperwork three times (yes three) which meant a 4 month delay on my first paycheck. Determined not to ask my parents for money and to exert my new college-grad independence, I dubbed those months “The Long Famine” and gave myself over to the joy of being a starving artist in Paris. To avoid actual starvation, I calculated how to get the most nutrients for the least cost, and still enjoy what I was eating. This meant eating soft boiled eggs on piles of spinach dotted with goat cheese and swept with baguette for one meal a day for about three months.

    And you know, I’m still not really tired of it and I still make it whenever I find myself dining along at home. It takes me back to uncertain days in a tiny apartment high above the luxembourg gardens.

    And it also just tastes so impossibly delicious.

  57. Deanna

    Eggs are my go-to quick meal too. Sometimes I use leftover cooked greens from the night before. Or more likely for me, avocado!

    Congratulations on the IACP nomination for best first book! Based on how splattered with food every page of my copy is, you definitely deserve it!

  58. I laughed at your description of the fussiness. I eat almost this same this every morning (brunch while the baby naps), but with mashed avocado. My mother asked how I make it. I said simply mash an avocado and top with the egg. Until I remembered the timing the toasting with the mashing, don’t forget the lemon juice, oh and the scallion, oh, and you HAVE to have the Maldon for the top.

    “That’s a lot of stuff just for toast, isn’t it?”

    Sheesh, Mom. You just don’t understand me.

  59. My personal favorite is sautéed mushrooms with garlic, tomatoes, and some kind of barely wilted greens (arugula, chard, or spinach) over buttered toast. I think a fancier name for it is toast champignon. I’ll have to add the egg!

  60. Lindsay

    I do something similar, but replace the spinach with avocado. Will try this variation soon.

    Also, I’m fairly certain you meant to say “put the bread in to toast” rather than “put the bread into toast” which would require that we all be a little bit less like Deb, and a little bit more like David Copperfield. ;)

  61. C

    A recipe I can relate to! When i was a kid I had 2 favorite meals: spinach, toast and egg [so, exactly this minus the mustard], and arroz a la cubana, which is rice accompanied by fried bananas and… egg! They just never fail you, do they?

  62. Emma

    I think this is the perfect meal. As a poor student, I eat some form of it almost everyday. Thank you for affirming its glory!

  63. To be honest, this would be under the “fancy lunch” category for me. If I was really feeling it, I might make this. If not, a bowl of cereal saves the day!

  64. ash

    Oh, I LOVE beautiful ideas like these. I’m a student, so I’m usually making meals for myself and appreciate (flexibly) inexpensive, relatively unfussy inspiration. The dijon mustard is a perfect addition. I usually like to roast a bunch of vegetables/nuts, poach an egg or two, crumble feta over the whole thing, and eat my meal swimming in yolk-y goodness (:

  65. I love the simple goodness of an egg on toast, but I’m even too impatient for a 5 minute egg :) I finally learned how to perfectly poach an egg, with minimal mess, in under 2 minutes: I had never owned a microwave until I moved into my brand new suite a year ago, and warming the dog’s food and poaching eggs is about all I use it for now :) 30 seconds and then carefully flip the egg and do a further 10 (runny) or 15 (soft yolk) and you’re good to go. No peeling, etc.

  66. I do something similar for lunch sometimes when I am alone. My husband says it isn’t enough for him. I don’t have bread at home nor make it 90% of the time. I don’t care for soft boiled eggs nor soft yolks, but hard boiled egg whites or scrambled whites with spinach and a little mustard works for me.

  67. Esmee

    Looked at first glance like kid food— but i have faith so i read on….the combination looks wonderful…. I’ll try it as written and then fool w it a bit….bacon would provide total decadence here … Smoked salmon… Pancetta ( bacon bacon bacon)! Thx Deb!

  68. I’m petrified of soft-boiling an egg. In Colorado, the traditional 8-minute egg isn’t quite cooked through, except that some days it’s overcooked (what?), and I’ve spent zero time perfecting how many minutes it would actually take to cook it perfectly on a more consistent basis. Grr. Your yolk looks so beautifully runny!

  69. JS

    I second Jamie’s question: is there a reason not to just wilt the spinach with the butter and shallots? What does the extra step add?

  70. I love the tension in the photo with the egg before it is smashed. Then seeing the next photo, with that perfectly soft-boiled egg so beautifully smashed on top of the spinach…yum. I’m going to have to make this today for lunch.

  71. Erika

    I loooove eggs! But I make my eggs with spinach a one-pot-meal: when the spinach is almost done but there’s still a little water on the bottom of the pan, I crack my eggs on top of it and put the lid on. For this a like to use a glass lid so I can keep an eye on the eggs and remove from heat while the yolks are still runny. So it’s almost poached eggs but without the fuss!

  72. Too funny, that’s what I had for lunch yesterday! It’s such an easy thing to make, delicious and nutritious (if you choose the right ingredients of course). Although my egg was poached and not “smashed”, heehee, maybe I’ll try that next time! :)

  73. My grandmother used to make a soft-boiled egg with Italian toast for my grandfather everyday… Thank you for taking me back to that beautiful memory. Your photos are stunning!

  74. Susanna

    I, too, am runny-yolks-averse until our girl’s arrival in July. My husband knows that he will be making me something with a runny yolk when our trio gets home from the hospital–I think this might be the recipe (everything else chopped and prepped, of course).
    Unless I can find those pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs!

  75. Sarah McK

    This is pretty much a perfect meal for me. One of my favorite easy comfort lunches is an over easy egg over buttered toast so this is right up my alley. I subbed in garlic for the shallots I didn’t have and Parmesan cheese for the goat (because it was what I had). It was also my first time soft-boiling an egg! It turned out so lovely! I think the mustard really takes it from omggood to exquisite.

    Thank you for the recipe, it’s definitely a keeper!

  76. Patti

    Wow…I’ve read these recipes but never tried one until today! Such a great lunch that I had to rush over to post thank you!! No more boring lunches for me!

  77. Cheryl

    I couldn’t wait until I got to the store to buy fresh spinach before making this, so I used frozen spinach instead. When the spinach had defrosted in the pan over medium heat for about 2 mins. and I was waiting for the other ingredients to finish cooking, I sprinkled some aged blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar into the spinach. OMG! I had to keep myself from devouring the spinach on the spot! Never even thought about shallots, cream or cheese & shamelessly licked the plate when done (I was home alone!) – even though I had soft-boiled 2 eggs! Next time I will use 2 pieces of toast and more spinach. Someday when I’m sick of balsamic vinegar I’ll try some of the other variations!

    I don’t peel soft-boiled eggs – I crack them around the middle, break them open & they come out of the shell easily when scooped with a spoon!

    I just started reading your blog after taking your cookbook out of the library. I LOVE your recipes and photos! Thank you for your humor, too!

  78. Kris

    I have an egg on toast for breakfast every morning. I poach the egg in those nifty silicone cups and toss 3-4 grape tomatoes into the cup with the egg. Now, I’ll add the spinach!

  79. lee

    Your question about “alone lunches” made me laugh – and reminisce. Because my go-to lunch when I’m at home and on my own is a sandwich that I have been making for 20+ years – since waaaaay back in middle school. I don’t remember what prompted me to mix canned tuna, a chopped-up hardboiled egg and Italian dressing…but mix it, I did – and then plop it (messily, of course) onto toasted bread with a slice of cheese. Simple, easy, filling – what more could a girl ask for when she’s needing a “I need to eat lunch but don’t want to put much effort into it?” kind of meal. =)

  80. CanadyAnna

    Even better than boiling those eggs to softness, which I only learned recently, is STEAMING them, to ensure perfect cooked white and still gloriously gooey yolk. In small saucepan, put about 1/2″ water & bring to boil, then add eggs, cover and steam for 6 1/2 min. (you can adjust more or less for how you like your yolks). I got an egg decapitater for Xmas, so I can slice thier little lids off and enjoy mine perched in my glass bunny shapped egg holder and dip in slices of toast. But the spinach on toast combo sounds like a good lunchtime quickie with lots of options and room for variation. Thanks! May join my list of lunch faves like “Pour can of tomato juice in bowl and heat. Add crackers and call it soup. Add dollop of milk, buttermilk or cream – whatever is in the fridge if you want it creamier.”

  81. I can’t wait to try this! I love runny eggs, but I’ve never tried soft boiling before.

    My lunch shame? I love PB & J…so much that sometimes I will eat it on a spoon. Lord.

  82. Rachel

    Yum! Thanks for the ideas. Equipment questions for you 1) how do you keep your pans so shiny and new looking? 2) shape of the frying/sautee pan – straight or rounded – what is the difference in function? Thanks!!

  83. Susan from Pleasanton

    Okay…I’ve joined the group that couldn’t finish reading this before cooking/eating a version of it! Thanks to Lyyne’s microwave poached egg, too. I’ve been in a soft or runny yolk kick lately. Love to nestle an egg into some nicely seasoned mixture of greens, beans, chili? etc. and serve right from the pan–which was lunch yesterday for my husband and me. Today this poached egg and toast was breakfast. Ooooh my. I know I should have done the spinach and mustard, but ate the spinach a couple of days ago, and was too lazy to get out the Dijon. Still was fabulous. Reminds me of childhood’s lovely toast and egg breakfasts. Yummmmmmm. Thank you, Deb, and thanks, too, to all the comments for adding possibilities.

  84. Patricia

    Lightly scrambled, poached or soft boiled egg on the perfectly toasted piece of bread is an amazing quick go to meal. Add a little cheese, maybe some sauteed spinach with shallots and Herb de Provience….. absolute heaven any time of day. Quick, easy and perfect! Thanks Deb.

  85. Katie

    I was doing my daily perusing of food blogs and decided to make this for lunch as soon as I saw it! I didn’t have shallots on hand so I used some garlic instead. It was absolutely delicious! The combination of flavors and textures is awesome. I agree that the mustard makes all the difference :)

  86. A soft boiled egg + stuff I have around the kitchen is my go to alone meal, too! If I’m in a hurry, it’s just the egg and piece of buttered toast. Often I smash the egg into some rice with soy sauce. Or do spinach and fried eggs. But this, this looks like my next obsession!

  87. Meghan

    Amora mustard! My FAVORITE! Thank you for the link– I guess now I won’t have to stuff my suitcase full of mustard jars every time I come back from France. :)

    Looking forward to trying this recipe. Merci!

  88. Yum. Thank you from Prague- it’s always lovely to see that people from half way across the world love the same things. I even have that very same mustard in my refridge. Cheers

  89. Kristin

    There is something exponential about eating a soft boiled egg WHILE reading about and looking at luscious photos of soft boiled eggs. My egg is nestled in a bowl of last night’s pimenton roasted cauliflower and broccoli, and patatas bravas. This makes for the lunch of my dreams, except that it’s right here in front of me! Here’s to dreamy lunches that are as simple as simmering an egg for 5 minutes. I love the
    bubble wrap metaphor! Thank you Deb!

  90. Jenny

    Congratulations on your IACP Award!!! AMAZING!! Very happy for you and not at all surprised. My mom, sister, friends and I have been cooking nonstop from your gem of a debut. Congrats!

  91. Eggs are totally not my cup of tea. There’s just something about the runny yolk that gives me the creeps! I love spinach and mustard, though, so maybe I’ll try this and give eggs a second chance (my dad would be so happy – he loves runny yolks!)

  92. That looks so delicious right now! After a disappointing lunch of the same genre with one sliced strawberry on the side (I question motives) I am inspired to redeem it. Maybe I’ll sprinkle it with sharp cheddar and herbs… Or maybe I won’t make this all complicated and such. Now for the silliest question it’s possible to ask: How, pray tell, do you think this would be with a slice of crispy prosciutto?

  93. Sarahb1313

    Nice! I cook eggs everyday for lunch at work in our break room. Sauté a little shallot and spinach, add eggs, some cheese…
    This requires a real kitchen, but I can’t wait to try it.

  94. I love this egg sandwich except that I like the egg when it is hard boiled and not a bit raw. I’ll try it the way you instructed any way just to try new things :) thanks for the recipe! keep it up!

  95. Carole

    The kitchen equivalent of popping bubble wrap. Love it. And how do you cook all the time and keep your pans looking so brand spanking new?

  96. Diane from DC

    This looks amazing and I’m going to have to try this as soo nas I get home, which is not soon enough since I just got to work :( I have two pounds of swiss chard I’d like to try with this.

  97. This looks delicious, what I would spice the toast up with a little bit is some smahsed or finely-cut garlic, just like couple of others recommended here :)

    I know a lot of people can’t bear the smell of it, but the spinach-garlic combo for me is so great, that I would eat it all the time. Well, except that missus wouldn’t let me, but thats another story.

  98. Tara

    We make a bagel sandwich almost identical to this. I season it with a generous sprinkle of Tastefully Simple Spinach and Herb blend. It’s a family favorite! Spinach, eggs, and bagels – Yum!

  99. I was totally inspired and whipped this up for yesterday’s lunch. Amazing! So much so that I woke up craving it again and so breakfast it was! Thanks for the great idea and the egg came out perfect. I find the older eggs peel more easily too.

  100. Sorcha

    My go to lunch in a hurry is soft boiled eggs with soldiers (toast cut into strips) to dip in the runny yolk. Preferably with Marmite on the toast. Very British but if I’m feeling REALLY extravagant and it’s the right time of year, I’ll buy some asparagus, blanch it and dip that in instead. Once the yolk is gone I usually scoop the rest of the white out and eat it on the remainder of the toast. And always if possible before the kids are home otherwise I don’t actually get to boil the egg for the right time / sit and eat it in peace / eat it at all.

  101. Wow, this was my breakfast today, and it was perfect. Just the egg of course. I did it according to your instructions plus a pinch of baking soda int he water and it was perfect.

    I just put it on a toast with cheese and cherry tomatoes, because it was 7 am an you are not supose to cook or chop onnions o saute spinach at 7 am. And moustard of course! But it was delicious.

    Thank you.

  102. Yum – this looks delicious! We are big egg fans – omelettes, quiches, plain, with toast, boiled. Pretty much any egg recipe is a favorite. Love your take on it! I’ve only ever had spinach and egg in the form of an omelette.

  103. Rob

    I used to cook soft boiled eggs like you describe above, but I’m going to try a new method next time, which I learned at cooking school: (1) put your eggs into cold water; (2) bring to a boil; (3) turn of heat and cover, let sit for 5 minutes. This came from a hard boiled egg method (let sit for 10 minutes), which is perfect (no grey ring around the yolk). I’m going to try this with several eggs and take them out at 4, 5, 7 and 10 minutes to see the difference. Yum!

  104. I’m with you, Deb, nice and easy does it. This week I’m using Gruyere on everything, including eggs. BTW, waiting at a doctor’s office yesterday and picked up a magazine with… you! Now I’m a fan.

  105. Rubana

    The Dijon mustard you used… where did you buy it from? I haven’t seen that brand or jar since I was a child in Cote d’Ivoire and my mom collected them. Some of the jars had really great designs on them! Although, I must admit, it never occurred to me to look for the brand until now. Seeing it in your pictures brought a flood of memories back. Thank you.

  106. Amora!!!! aahah oh, man, I am still here (France) but I am leaving soon & I already miss everything! Dear god! The lentils are $10.50 for 500gr?! And that’s a brand you can find in places like Auchan!!! Gah!!! I better start packing & shipping my own care package! :( and who knows how much extra will they charge me when I ask them to ship to Canada! :(
    As for the lunch: I have everything in my pantry & it all needs using up! Thank you, this is excellent! I love soft boiled eggs & haven’t had one in ages, only cause I don’t have the egg cups so I could be all fancy & eat it with a spoon…. but this is much better! :)

    1. deb

      Carole — Ha! My non-cast iron pots and pans fall into two categories, All Clad MC2 and All Clad Stainless. The MC2 look horrendous after you’ve put them in the dishwasher even once. (You’re apparently not supposed to but I missed this, and if you even do it once, it’s too late.) The Stainless are a dream, and look 8 years later pretty much like the day you bought them. They’re also dishwasher safe. ;)

      Rachel — See above. The skillet I was using isn’t one I have a ton of use for because it’s on the small side; it was sold as an omelet pan and I was on a big dinner omelet kick a while ago.

      Linda — I find that some eggs are a pain to peel and others are a cinch when you hard-boil them. However, when soft-boiled, the peel almost always comes off neatly. I suspect it’s because the white is softer, making it easier to separate it cleanly from the peel. (Btw, older hard-boiled eggs peel more easily.)

      Shelley — How funny that I was checking out that exact technique when making this. I think it would be wonderful here, and it reminds me a bit of what I used here.

      IACP Award — Thank you! I have been under the weather all week so nearly missed the news, but it’s an incredible honor. But it is you guys that put the book on the map. :)

      JS — The reason for wilting the spinach separately is that it has a lot of water in it, and you’ll want to drain it off/press it out.

      ATG — I find this to be so much easier than having to watch the pot for it to begin boiling! Like, a zillion times less pesky.

  107. This looks great and so simple! I like to bake eggs with a similar combo of bread and spinach, it’s been so long since I’ve soft boiled eggs I forgot how good they are!

  108. Caroline

    I love this. It’s very similar to the breakfast I make everyday. Lately I’ve been spreading greek yogurt on the toast (it sounds strange, but the creamy tang is nice.) I’m far to lazy saute spinach every morning so I just toss on some fresh arugula for a peppery bite.

  109. Egg and spinach is a great combination and WHY did I never think of smashing the egg with a fork? LOL It’s things like that (and the mustard) that make the difference between a meh moment when you feel like you just ate fuel, and a satisfying lunch. I often make soup for lunch, but it has to have some point of interest, whether it’s chunks of meat or spices or veggies that didn’t get blended in with everything else.

  110. Reneé

    What a fabulous 10pm dinner! Thank you, yet again, for saving the evening. I used olive oil instead of butter to sautee, and (I know it’s a no-no!) plain nf yogurt mixed in right at the end. Mix of spinach and arugula b/c I didn’t have enough spinach alone. SO good and homey and satisfying.

  111. Heidi

    The Egg and Cheese sandwich recipe changed my life. This looks so good! May add a drop of habenero hot sauce. Or, would maple syrup be weird? Hot Madras powder?

  112. Lesley

    Yum! This is a twist on the lunch I made for myself today: spinach, red wine vinegar, s&p, crisp bacon bits and soft poached eggs, with toast on the side. I love how the red wine vinegar cuts the richness of the bacon and egg yolk… SO GOOD!

  113. Laura Lee

    I made this for dinner tonight, following the recipe exactly. Heaven. That’s all I can say. Well, maybe Wow. The combination of flavors was beautiful. The soft cooked eggs were miraculous. I’ve never cooked them that way. I will now never poach again. Amazing!!!

  114. Deborah

    Surprised my husband with this for breakfast this morning, he gave it two thumbs up! The slick of Dijon was a brilliant addition, like biting into a cupcake and finding a creamy filling you weren’t expecting. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner for two. Hmmm, wonder what type of wine goes well with this??

  115. I have traumatic childhood memories of being forced to finish my plate of sunny-side-up eggs, hence I think I’m the only person on earth who has an aversion to runny yolks. Those photos still managed to whet my appetite though! Lunch usually consists of leftovers from dinner the night before, so I don’t have to worry/think about 2 meals in one day.

  116. meredith s.

    I made this last night, but added crisped proscuitto! It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time! Thank you for a delicious and fast recipe!

  117. Julia

    SO GOOD. For a college student this is flavorful and fast but super cheap and easy, especially if you use normal sandwich bread and just wilt the spinach and onions, without the cream. Yesterday, I used some sharp Tillamook cheddar cheese on the bread in place of the feta – dare I say it was even better that way?

  118. Santadad

    I don’t think I have ever before seen an open egg sandwich that made my mouth water Is it the food or the food photo?

  119. Sarah

    Just tried this today and it tasted delicious! It wasn’t as tedious as I thought it would be. Although, the dijon mustard had a slightly too strong flavor, but I think it’s partly due to the cheaper brand I used. Not only was it tasty, but I learned how to make a soft boiled egg. I never had one before today. I didn’t realize what I was missing out on. :)))

  120. Kim S

    My mom used to fix a sandwich of scrambled eggs mixed with sliced, pimento stuffed olives on wheat bread with mayo. Delish!!!

  121. Gloucesterina

    Made this for breakfast to serve 2 – wonderful! I am new both to creamed spinach and to soft boiled eggs (used the Cooks Illustrated steaming for 6.5 min. technique) and they were fun to try. Used scallions in place of shallots, had no feta & forgot mustard, oops. Added white pepper with the dab of cream.

  122. AMORA!!! I pine for this stuff. One year, my dad went to France just before December and got me 2 jars of the stuff for Christmas. Best gift ever. Thanks for the Simply Gourmand link!

  123. I had to tell you that this inspired me to make a variation as I didn’t have spinach or feta on hand. I ended up using fresh buffalo mozzarella, campari tomatoes, and fresh basil with the egg and toast. Magnificent. I will most definitely do yours the next time I have spinach and feta around, too. It’s so easy to do! Thank you!

  124. Jessie

    I have made two variations on this already this week. Thank you for posting such a versatile inspiration. And, respectfully, to Kate S, it was a delightful recipe to pop up in my feed. Even if I thought it was too simple or un-orignal (which I don’t), I think it is shameful to be snarky about a free blog, that is beautifully photographed, thoughtfully written, and updated frequently. Whether you post a new recipe every day or once a year, one of the lures of your blog is that it never feels scripted, but is truly a glimpse into your cooking world, which has obviously become treasured. Clearly, many of us are thankful for the gentle reminder of how lovely a soft boiled egg and some greens can be, as we are making the desperate transition from winter to spring, and in need of something both bright and warm.

  125. Great spin on simple eggs on toast! Soft boiled eggs on toast are a staple in my mom’s house and I still eat them for dinner when I’m alone. It’s really too bad I can’t get my husband to go anywhere near a runny yolk. =)

  126. Oh yes! I love smashed eggs – I just prefer to poach mine rather than boil them.

    My only sticking point is that right now you have made me want to eat that for breakfast and I have no eggs!!!

  127. Naomi

    This meal is like a trip through my mind (without the neuroses and loose digressions), for so many reasons! First, of all, this qualifies as one of my fave breakfasts, lunches, and/or suppers. Second, I also recently discovered the beauty of the smashed lazy soft-boiled egg over poached…it’s yummy and foolproof! And, I always love that your recipes minimize the number of dishes to wash, but I absolutely adore that you were thoughtful enough to remind us to save the fork for later!
    Btw, this recipe is an even easier version, if that’s possible, of another favourite of mine:

  128. This is such a great recipe. It’s super simple and straight to the point. My roommate’s obsessed with eggs and especially egg sandwiches for breakfast. This would be a great recipe to transfer over to dinner. I have to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  129. Carly

    We call these icky eggs and I eat them in your “favorite way” all the time. Rather than peeling them, though, I cut the whole thing in half with a knife and then just scoop out each half with a spoon. It sounds a little easier than peeling them but I guess it takes away the fun of The Smash. I will have to try them with dijon next time!

  130. Kate S

    I would like to apologize for my previous comment (refer: comment 217) it was completely uncalled for, rude and unnessary. I have nothing but admiration for you and what you do here and have been a huge fan of your site and your book since it first arrived many months ago. I have no excuse to offer only an apology, truly sorry

  131. Becky

    I made this for lunch for myself on Saturday. I just sauteed the spinach and did not add cream. Next time I will omit the dijon. Even though I like dijon typically, I didn’t quite enjoy it with this combo.

  132. Liz

    I make almost the exact thing but use only one pan by frying the egg after the spinach is half way done. Spinach, asparagus, whatever is in the crisper!

  133. Shannon

    I just learned a new trick! Peruse SmittenKitchen and then email recipe links to my boyfriend and he makes them on the weekends! To be fair, I try most of the baking recipes from SK and leave the SK cooking recipes to him! So I did just that and we spent Sunday breakfast smiling and oohing about how delicious our smashed egg toast was! We didn’t have dijon mustard so we just substituted with good ol’ brown mustard. Quick and delicious!

  134. I love egg & spinach sandwiches too, I seem to crave them after I workout. I throw on whatever I have in the house…asparagus, cheese, ham, tomatoes. Yummm. Thanks for your blog, it’s very inspiring.

  135. Rebecca

    We never have bread in the house, but I do this with ramen all the time! Ramen is totally healthy if you toss in enough greens and an egg for protein, right? With some thinly sliced white onion on top? and a big squeeze of sririacha? Yum!

  136. Kathleen

    The only thing wrong with this post is no pic of cute kid. I’ll have to tune in next time. I adore seeing him help you in the kitchen with that little face.

  137. Marie M.C.

    Mmmmm. Could be a simple dinner, too. Eons ago, in San Francisco, near Union Square was a tiny restaurant called “Townsend’s”. It was where I first tasted creamed spinach with a poached egg on top. Eggs Florentine? I was in heaven. My mother never served spinach — or any greens, whatsoever. She lived to be 94 and ate dark chocolate every single day of her life. See? You can live without veggies! I now LOVE spinach. Cleaning it was a big pain, but now with the triple washed packs, it’s a breeze to serve.

  138. Yum! I am lucky enough to keep a few chickens so always have really fresh egs. They are so much nicer than shop bought. If they are too fresh though, it’s difficult to peel the shell off the egg. Prefer this way of preparing eggs as poaching always seems so much more difficult. Get less waste this way. Eggs again tomorrow!

  139. Going to try this tomorrow. Though, I never tried. But, I know, my husband gonna love it.

    By the way, I agree with Kathleen’s comment, without doubt it’s a wonderful recipe and post, but a pic. of a cute kid, or you having this toast, could make this post more lively and vibrant. :-)

    Thank you again Deb!

  140. Terri

    (if I may call you) Deb, I have been reading and cooking from your blog for a few years now and I just got your cookbook. I anticipate becoming the toast of the town -Chicago, no less- when I master your cheddar swirl buns and other breads. Apart from your sheer culinary skills, I must say that I envy your organization and tidiness in the kitchen. I always marvel that your white stovetop is never less than sparkling clean, even in the midst of cooking, given all the cooking that you do. I cook a tiny fraction as much as you do, and do not have a toddler running around, but my black stovetop is never not crusty. Anyway, belated thanks for all the inspiration. I love to cook, but you make me love it even more. Seriously.

    1. deb

      Terri — True story, so many people have said this (which I find hilarious as I’m mostly a mess in the kitchen) that I added it to the FAQ.

      Viviana — Promise it’s there.

  141. Stephanie

    The Kid Pic is fabulous! I hope everyone finds it in its hidden link.

    1-YUM. I don’t find my stomach responds well to eggs for breakfast lately, so eggs for lunch sounds fab.
    2-Lowbrow v. highbrow peanut butter: I try for salt but no sugar stuff. The chunky, cheap from Trader Joe’s was an accidental amazing find. Tastes like you’re eating roasted peanuts you just shelled.

  142. JCS

    I tried this last weekend, and it was soooooo good. Simple yet so lovely! I never thought I liked yolks- runny yolks at that- but I thought I’d try something new, and it was heavenly! I don’t think I’ve made anything of yours that I didn’t like! Thank you for inspiring me to cook more!!! Best gift ever :)

  143. This is my new favorite breakfast. I love the mustard and would never have thought to try that myself. Another wonderful breakfast for the summer months, if you haven’t tried this already, is egg fried in olive oil next to a dollop of plain whole-milk yogurt with tomato slices. The egg yolk mixed with the yogurt and tomato juices, salt, olive oil… it’s the best thing to mop up with toast.

  144. RockLynn

    Absolutely delicious! As was the earlier smitten kitchen recipe I made this week (broccoli rabe pasta). I’d never soft boiled an egg before and might not again, it was just too difficult to peel and I was afraid I was going to loose all the runny yolk goodness in my clumsiness. Next time I’ll poach or do an easy over. LOVED the spinach and shallot on top the dijon, wonderful brunch fare. And I had some Cypress Grove Purple Haze on top to add as a tasty finishing touch. Thanks for this lovely spring treat!

  145. Ann

    A poached egg on toast has long been a favorite quick bite for me. I love hte idea of a soft boiled egg instead as it makes easier all around from prep to cleanup! And you’ve dressied it up quite nicely here with things I commonly have on hand. How easy is that!

  146. Katie

    This recipe has quickly become one of my go-to favorites! Your blog and cookbook have been little rays of happiness during some of the roughest moments of my life, especially when my mom passed away last year. I’ve been living in Cambodia for the past year and your recipes have helped combat homesickness. I even had a friend’s mom mule your cookbook over here! I’ve been tagging pages in the book with sticky notes as reminders to make the dishes when I get back to the States – and an oven!! – in August. Can’t wait! Thank you for all your beautiful contributions to the world of cooking :)

  147. Cecily

    You’ve made your lunch look so delicious and appealing. And I love that you cut the crusts off the sides, but not the other ends – marvelous!
    As CanadyAnna mentioned above (#155) I also prefer steaming my soft boiled eggs. (Cooks Illustrated published some thoughts and use of the steaming method in January 2013.) Using the steaming method has made all the difference for me in being able to serve perfectly soft poached eggs no matter if I am cooking one or a dozen eggs.

  148. Vivien

    Poached eggs… my fav. Buy a skimmer if you don’t allready have one. Bring a shallow pan of water to a simmer. Break an egg onto the skimmer and catch the white which falls through the holes in a bowl. Slide the remainder of the egg still on the skimmer into the simmering water and poach. Lift out when done to taste and drain. Use. Throw away the excess liquid uncooked white caught in the bowl. Repeat as often as necessary.

  149. Mo

    Great recipe! After our breakfast this morning, my wife said that she had just had “restaurant quality” food! This one’s a keeper (the wife and the recipe). Thanks!

  150. David

    I’ve already made this twice. And the eggs came out perfectly! I’m very glad that this came along. Poaching is good, but this way I can make two at once.

  151. Ann

    Hi there! I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and I love all the photos and recipes! Anyway, I love this one as it is something that I make myself. In many of your photos, I am always curious how you keep your stove top CLEAN!?! What’s your secret? I can’t seem to keep up on my cleaning! Thanks so much!

  152. Thank you, Deb! I made these for dinner, and the eggs came out perfect at five minutes — nice and runny! I didn’t have heavy cream, but half & half worked just fine.

  153. Kori

    I just made this for brunch today, but instead of toast, I had it with your chive biscuits. So delicious! Simple but elegant, I can see myself serving this to friends at a brunch get together.

  154. This looks like an unbelievable breakfast – and a great way to start any day! This is such a healthy combination of eggs, greens, and cheese! We recommend trying this recipe with Crumbled Blue Cheese. The unique flavor will only add to this meal – and let you start your day off right.

  155. Svetlana

    Michael Ruhlman pretty much perfected the poached egg. You need a fresh egg and a slotted spoon with small slots. Crack the egg into the spoon and let the excess run out and then slide it into PLAIN simmering water. simmer until done remove. Voila!

  156. Erica

    I am obsessed with this meal. Literally daydreaming of it when I’m not eating it. Thanks for bringing this delectable treat to my world!

  157. bloomie

    Oh my Deb I made this on Saturday and it was DIVINE. Thank you x a million. Also I don’t like mustard so I did toast w/butter and w/o butter and I liked it a lot better with butter.

  158. Jeni

    This is not only delicious but revelatory! As with so many of the comments above – I ADORE poached eggs but I’ve never really perfected the technique. I even tried those floaty poach pod things which I have used to create awful jelly eggs or undercooked whites, much to my dismay. I am so thrilled to have discovered the soft-boiled egg. I have now made this three times and each time the white was cooked but soft, the yolk was runny, and it peeled & smashed like a dream. Thanks!

  159. Jenna

    Gahhhh!!!! This is soooo good! We’ve eaten this for lunch/dinner 4 times within the past 2 weeks of discovering this and everyone, from my husband down to my 2 year old, gobble this up. Thank you!!

  160. ciddyguy

    Oh. My. God Deb,

    I just now made this (8/21/13) after seeing it at the time you posted this back in April and thought, oh my this sounds good, gotta give it a try, sometime, well, here it is mid August.

    This is so good. Thanks for sharing this. I didn’t use baby spinach, but the real deal, as in a bunch of the full sized green stuff, and it worked just as well. :-)

    Now if you’ll excuse me, gotta finish eating this while it’s warm!

  161. Kyle

    The mustard, oh the mustard! Woke up with a huge box of greens from my CSA and a pile of chickens from my eggs…but lacking inspiration. Adding a bit of mustard pushes it right over the edge. I sauteed my spinach and poached my eggs….because I don’t have to think hard about those things before noon… and it was fantastic. Thank you!

  162. Tori

    Just had this for dinner tonight and it did not disappoint! Simple and delicious it definitely hit the spot for a light, quick dinner. I made a couple of swaps, I used cream cheese instead of goat cheese and had a poached egg instead of soft boiled and it was still great! Thanks Deb!

  163. Sarah

    I followed your advice on how to poach an egg and it worked very well for me. I substituted the spinach for lightly sauteed swiss chard and scallions and added a slice of tomato and drizzled some homemade rosemary garlic dipping oil on top of the italian bread slice….this was such a simple yet delicious breakfast, and something different from the usual belgian waffles I make. Loved this recipe. so easy.

  164. Made this for my wife who loves breakfast at all times — and it was brilliant! We used ciabbata, because she likes chewy, and added feta straight to the spinach. We also added nutmeg because, why not? We had some Black Forest bacon, so added that, and tomato slices since it was about to go off. My wife, who loves her eggs soft and drippy, was dubious of the four-minute boil but you were right — brilliant! They even came out photo perfect! Thank you!

  165. I made this with GF bread and almond milk instead of cream. It was perfect! I love the mustard flavor next to the shallots and everything else. I was scared my egg would be under cooked but it was just right! Next time I think I’m going to try a spicy whole grain mustard :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  166. Gerrie

    I have made this three times for dinner in the last two weeks. We always have these items on hand and when my hubby works late (which is often) I get to indulge in my egg obsession. I can never go wrong with your “toasts”… all so yummy!

  167. Janet

    This is one of my favorite breakfasts, though I usually don’t even bother with the shallots or the cream. The mustard, the perfectly cooked egg, and the cheese (asiago is lovely) make it yummy, and the spinach makes it healthy. Mm, mm!

  168. I just ate two pieces of toast prepared this way… the dijon is sheer brilliance. MIGHT have heavily buttered the toast before adding the mustard. Now has me fantasizing about all of the breads that I could put this on and how it would change the flavor/texture.

  169. I made a lovely breakfast pizza this morning and used bacon, mushrooms and spinach with nice runny eggs. Although he loved it, the eleven year old has decided we need to be a bit more kosher in our house (we’ll compromise on “kosher style” as I am not quite ready to commit fully). We talked about maybe using feta to get closer to that salty yumminess that bacon gives. This may be just the ticket for tomorrow. Plus we have half a bag of spinach and a sweet onion already chopped up and ready to go! Just need to send the husband out for some feta!

  170. C

    I never made soft boiled eggs until the Cook’s Illustrated article and would like to put in a word for their method not only because it works well but also because it’s faster and uses less energy because less water is involved. I put about half an inch of water to boil, then add the egg, cover, and cook 6-1/2 minutes. The steam and water cook the white while leaving the yolk nice and runny.

  171. Mindy

    I don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed to admit that I made this for the 4th time in a week this morning. It’s my (and my son’s) new breakfast obsession. We had it TWICE on Saturday.

  172. Nanette

    I’m in the same go-to camp as you, SK. Eggs, almost any which way, toast, asparagus, spinach, avocado! As for eggs, it’s always breakfast or lunch since my favorite guy doesn’t like eggs!

  173. Dianne

    I made this for the first time today and I absolutely devoured it. So scrumptious, and so happy to add this to my lunchtime rotation. Thanks, Deb!

  174. CS

    Made this on Sunday morning with a portion of a TJ’s seeded baguette found in the freezer and some left over Greek feta. Next time I need to peel the eggs faster I think (I made a total of four eggs, two for each half of baguette), the first one was hott-ish/warm for DH and the second for me was cool/cold (I should have have popped it in the micro for 10 seconds perhaps…). Overall was easy peasy to make and tasty to eat!

  175. Priscilla

    Just made this for a late brunch and really enjoyed it. I’ve never made creamed spinach before and it was truly delightful, especially perked up by the mustard beneath. And soft boiled eggs are always a good thing :)

    I don’t have Dijon, so instead I used kasundi, a grainy mustard sauce from eastern India; you should try it out sometime. I also replaced the feta (which is crazy expensive here) with a crumbly homemade salted paneer.

    Thanks much for a satisfying meal!

  176. ncannato

    Oh Deb, how do I love thee? I cannot even begin to count the ways…..there are too many to even try!! This was AMAZING. Just….wow. Super easy, flavorful, and I even forgot the cheese!! Good thing my boyfriend and I are already talking about when we will make this again! With the realization that I omitted the cheese, I almost made it again 20 minutes after we ate it!! I’m always looking for great egg dishes as I have 7 backyard chickens pumping out delicious eggs daily!! Thank you!! Thank you thank you thank you!! (One ‘thank you’ was nowhere near enough!!)

  177. C

    Yum! I overdid it on the spinach and didn’t squeeze out enough water, so it was a bit wet, but still quite tasty. I let my egg go 6 min but still had a runny yolk. (I also used the CI technique of only a half-inch of water — the water gets up to temperature faster that way.)

    1. deb

      There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL + P from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template.

  178. GJC

    Made this is morning. Definitely delicious — I didn’t use cheese but I don’t think that took away much. A bit labor intensive and uses a lot of dishes for breakfast but would have to say ‘worth it’!! Anything I have made from Smitten has always been outstanding. I don’t even need to pre test before serving guests as they always turn out delish!!

  179. Tony

    Absolutely delicious. The eggs came out perfectly. Avoid the temptation to salt at the end. Freshly ground pepper is all it needs.

  180. Mindy Winn

    Why don’t I make this every weekend? It’s so very good. Probably my favorite fast breakfast. My husband is partial to the egg tortillas though so we have a lazy Sunday debate about this from time to time.

  181. Steph

    This was such an exciting lunch today, thank you for the inspiration. I did poach the eggs because that’s my thing and I made it a sandwich as my pao mistura yields single hand rounds of bread. Cream and cheese were a bridge too far for me so it was a dollop of requeijao into the spinach…. yummmmm.

  182. Trisha J Fagan

    I have never posted a review to a food blog, but just had to with this. This is soooo good! Everyone in my family asks for this all the time. Just delicious.