This recipe for Eggs Benedict uses hash browns as a substitute for the English muffin and is lightened up with wilted spinach and tomatoes instead of ham. Vegetarian and gluten-free.
3 tablespoons olive oil (or butter), divided
Salt and pepper
1½ -2 cups hash browns
2 eggs, poached
1 garlic clove, rough chopped
2 handfuls spinach
1 tomato, sliced
1 tablespoon basil ribbons
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Pinch salt, pepper, and cayenne
3 tablespoons melted butter
Place a skillet over medium heat on the stove and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter. Season the pan with salt and pepper. Spray or brush two 3-inch ring molds with olive oil.
Place the two 3-inch ring molds into the heated skillet and place half the hash browns in each, packing down gently so each is about one inch thick.
Cook to form a golden crust, checking after 7-8 minutes. Use a thin metal spatula, lift to peek from one side. When nicely golden, carefully remove the ring mold and flip to brown the other side.
In the meantime, poach the eggs and make the hollandaise (see below).
Place the golden hash brown rounds on two plates.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the garlic and swirl for one minute.
Add the spinach and gently wilt. Season with salt and pepper and move to the side.
Add the tomato slices and give them a quick sear, seasoning with salt.
Finish assembling the Benedicts by dividing the wilted spinach between the hash brown rounds. Top with tomatoes and then a poached egg.
Drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of hollandaise.
Top the fresh basil ribbons and serve immediately.
To make the hollandaise
Place the egg yolks, water and lemon juice in a stainless bowl and whisk vigorously until thick and doubled in volume.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.
Drizzle in the melted butter while whisking until the sauce has thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat and whisk in salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few teaspoons of warm water before serving.