Did you forget to feed your Valentine breakfast in bed this weekend? If so, fear not. This situation can be easily resolved by making him or her breakfast for dinner. (It’s a fact: breakfast-for-dinner is truly a cure-all for any bad day or wrongdoings, is it not?)
Then again, just because there’s an egg involved doesn’t mean we have to automatically declare a dish “breakfast.” There’s something so incredibly comforting about a bowl of hot, savory sauteed vegetables topped with a freshly poached or fried egg. I can’t seem to get enough, whether the clock says it’s time for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s not just the fact that it tastes good, either. Maybe I’m a(health)nut, but I actually feel a sense of pride and reward when I’m feeding my body a big, all-natural dose of vitamins, fiber, and protein.
My go-to quick and easy version currently involves a few big handfuls of frozen mixed stir-fry veggies (it is winter after all, so keeping a huge bag of this in the freezer is super convenient and better quality than buying everything “fresh”), a splash of soy sauce and a dollop of hot chili garlic sauce. All of that gets quickly browned up in a hot wok before being crowned with the protein.
But when more time is an option, I like to experiment with different combinations of veggies and legumes. This recipe is loosely based on potato and fennel hash I read about in a recent Bon Appetit.
I say “loosely” because the only constant is the fennel. That fennel, a veggie deserving of much more adoration than it seems to get, is what drew me in. For most people, it would probably be the potatoes. But you know what? They just don’t do it for me. Sorry. I swapped them out for a healthier root vegetable full of rich, earthy, slightly bitter-yet-sweet-at-the-same-time flavor: the rutabaga. (If my Fave, Rape e Cicoria recipe didn’t convince you to try it, I hope this does!) Then I added carrots for extra earthy-sweet flavor and vivid color. Just imagine if I could get my hands on some purple ones! Next time, I swear. And finally, white beans, to make it even more hearty.
I can think of a million reasons why you should make this, right now.
First of all, as I was saying, it’s never too late to show your sweetie some love with breakfast in bed, or breakfast for dinner. On the contrary, if you found yourself receiving love this weekend in the form of copious amounts of chocolate and wine, this is a perfect detox meal to get your body feeling happy again. Assuming you’re like me and ate more than your “happy” share of booze and sugar. But I digress. Other reasons you should make this? It’s never too late to try a new vegetable (or two). So if you’re still a stranger to fennel or rutabaga, it’s time to take the plunge. Eggs are an easy, cheap way to get your protein, so if you’re trying to trim the grocery budget as well as your waistline, you’ll definitely want to insert some in your weekly dinner plan. And finally? It just tastes good. Really good. Like, so good you’ll wonder why you ever bother with meat anyway, and you’ll stop pining away for summer because you’ll realize your current love affair vegetables that actually taste good in winter too. For a few blissful moments, at least.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs peeled, diced rutabaga
2 fennel bulbs, with fronds (yield 1lb fennel after cutting)
3 medium carrots
1 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Place diced rutabaga in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then cook for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the potatoes, and pat dry. Re-fill the pot with water and bring to a boil again.
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Cook the par-boiled rutabaga in the hot oil, stirring often, for about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the fennel bulb into cubes, reserving the fronds. Peel and dice the carrots. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water, and cook the chopped fennel and carrots for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Finely chop the fennel fronds to measure 1/4 cup; set aside along with the chopped parsley.
Once the rutabaga pieces are tender on the inside and crisp and golden on the outside, add the diced fennel and carrots, the cannellini beans, and the salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes more, stirring so that the vegetables become lightly browned and caramelized. Stir in the garlic and continue stirring and cooking for 2 minutes more. Finally, add the parsley and reserved fennel fronds.
Serve hot, with a poached or fried egg, if desired.
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 470.1 mg
Total Carbs: 43.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 9.3 g
Protein: 9.4 g