I was reading Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark when I stumbled upon something, well, game-changing. In a recipe for Olive Oil–Fried Eggs With Scallions, Sage, and Turkish Red Pepper, Clark describes “fried sage leaves that get caught in the white.” So, fried eggs embedded with fried herbs.
Here’s how she does it: Sizzle sage leaves in olive oil, then “crack the eggs into the skillet on top.” Baste the whites with more oil, because why not? The crispy, crackly herbs become part of the eggs like a tattoo. Why have we never done this before?
Clark’s technique is just as easy and just as flexible. In fact, when I asked her if she ever riffs on the recipe, she told me: “Every time I make it, I riff on it. I rarely make the same thing twice!” She’s tried scallions, mint, and cilantro, but likes sage best “because it gets crisp.”
Like her, I started with sage—and then I couldn’t stop. I tried chives. I tried parsley. I tried mint and cilantro and tarragon and dill and thyme. Turns out, you can’t go wrong with ruffly-edged, runny-yolked, herb-crusted eggs.
Here are a few ways to put this to good use:
Mint-fried eggs in a puddle of tomato sauce, topped with feta
Dill-fried eggs on heavily-buttered rice with many squeezes of lemon
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.