About a year ago I started searching for some local yard eggs from pastured chickens. I looked on craigslist and over the course of the summer tried a dozen eggs from probably 6 or 8 different people in my area who are raising chickens for their eggs.
What I was looking for primarily was very fresh eggs with deep orange yolks and very hard shells.
Unfortunately the eggs I was coming across were not really impressing me.
Then one day I contacted a man who was raising only a few hens in his back yard. He sold me the loveliest eggs, which rather than being brown or white were instead pretty shades of pastel blues and greens. Best of all they had nice hard shells deeply colored yolks.
I had finally found my egg connection! From then on until the days shortened to the point where his girls stopped laying, I met with my egg man 3 or 4 times a month to pick up a fresh dozen from him.
After awhile I thought to ask him what he fed his birds besides allowing them to roam free and forage in the grass for worms and insects. When he responded saying that he fed them conventional pellets, I asked him if he would consider feeding his birds some soy free/GMO free feed, which I had recently discovered was available locally.
His answer was a resounding yes!
And ever since then his girls have been eating their non-soy non-GMO feed, and I feel better than ever having the opportunity to enjoy their gorgeous, fresh, delicious eggs!
Below is a scrumptious recipe I created awhile ago to showcase the awesomeness of these wonderful eggs.
Eggs With Wilted Baby Greens and Sauerkraut Salad Stuffed Radicchio
(Makes 4 individual servings)
8 large pastured eggs, poached or soft boiled
2 lbs fresh bitter baby greens – choose a combination of young tender leaves such as dandelion, nettle, arugula, chard, mizuna, watercress, mustard, turnip or beet tops, endive, chicory, kale, or spinach (Reserve and thinly slice 1 cup raw greens for sauerkraut salad)
2 cups raw sauerkraut – preferably home made
1 small red, yellow or green sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 whole radicchio leaves, separated
8 ripe cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Extra virgin olive oil and umeboshi plum vinegar for drizzling (Eden Foods makes a nice one.)
½ cup homemade chicken stock &/or white wine (use either one or a combination of both)
3-4 small shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 oz dried dulse seaweed
2-3 oz sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved thin with a potato peeler
4 Tbs fresh parsley and chives (or other fresh herbs of your choice) chopped fine
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Boil water for poaching or boiling eggs, and cook them on a separate burner while preparing the rest of the dish so they’re just done and hot at serving time.
To make the sauerkraut salad, stir together the reserved sliced raw baby greens, kraut, sliced bell peppers, 3 Tbs of the chopped parsley/chives, and a drizzling of olive oil. Spoon ¼ of the mixture into each radicchio leaf, top with sliced cherry tomatoes, and place one stuffed radicchio leaf on each plate.
Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in a skillet on medium heat and add the baby greens, season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring and turning regularly til wilted and soft. Add stock/wine, reduce heat and simmer gently uncovered, allowing most all the liquid to reduce until greens are still succulent, but not too juicy. Remove wilted greens to a warm plate and hold in a warm oven.
Return pan to medium-low heat and add the rest of the butter. Once it has melted, saute shallots, garlic and dulse for a few minutes, just until the aromatics soften, release their fragrance and begin to turn slightly golden, and the dulse crisps slightly.
Divide the wilted greens into four equal portions and plate them alongside the stuffed radicchio leaves. Pour over each portion of greens some of the butter/shallot/garlic/dulse mixture, drizzle with ume plum vinegar, and top with thin shavings of Romano cheese. Add two cooked eggs atop the greens to each plate, grind some fresh black pepper over them, and sprinkle each portion with a tablespoon of chopped parsley and chives.
Combine a bit of egg, greens, dulse, cheese, kraut salad and radicchio on your fork, and savor the delightfully rich explosion of flavors on your palate!
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