Soft-boiled eggs with marmite soldiers, fresh radishes and fromage frais dip recipe

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This is almost more of an idea than a recipe – the individual parts (toast, boiled eggs, a radish salad) are all simple enough, but bringing them all together makes for a brilliant grown-up breakfast combination.

Soft-boiled eggs with their runny yolks are often a question of love or hate. The same, famously, goes for Marmite so use it in this recipe if you love it, and drop it if you don’t. We’ve also included instructions for making dukkah, an Egyptian spice mix. It’s very easy to make, has a million uses, and is utterly delicious. If you for this recipe, you’ll have plenty left over, so keep it for months in a sealed jar in a cool, dark cupboard, and sprinkle it on everything from salads to soup. As for the radishes, the French grow what they call breakfast radishes oblong, pink and white and gorgeous on the plate. They’re crisp and fresh, with the faintest, barely perceptible memory of chilli-like heat. Alternatively, if you can find baby radishes, sold in little bags during spring, snap them up. They’re punchy little packages of crunch with a peppery kick and are just fabulous in this recipe.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the Dukkah
  • 50 g blanched almonds
  • 50 g hazelnuts
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 50 g pistachios
  • 35 g pumpkin seeds
  • 35 g sunflower seeds
  • 35 g sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Fromage Frais Dip
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ½ small bunch of chives, finely snipped
  • ½ small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 200 g fromage frais
  • 120 ml whipping cream
For the Radishes
  • 150 g (a small bunch) radishes, green leaves still on if possible
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • lemon juice and olive oil, to serve
How to Make It
  1. First, make the dukkah. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Scatter the nuts evenly over a baking tray, and the seeds over another (they will cook at different speeds, so this way neither will burn). Roast them until just golden brown, about 5 minutes for the seeds, 10 minutes for the nuts, stirring them once or twice, taking care not to let them burn. Set aside to cool completely, and then blitz the toasted nuts and seeds together in a food processor with all the remaining spices and seasonings. Do this in short bursts using the pulse mode – you want a slightly coarse grind, not a fine powder, so proceed carefully to avoid overdoing it. Once there’s no residual heat left in the mixture whatsoever, tip into an airtight jar.
  2. Next, prepare the dip: stir the garlic, salt, pepper and herbs into the fromage frais. Whip the cream by hand using a balloon whisk until it falls in thick folds and holds soft peaks. If you don’t mind the extra washing up, you can use a hand mixer – as long as you go carefully and take care not to over-whip. Gently fold the whipped cream through the cheese mix. The texture should be something approaching a mousse. Cover and chill until you need it.
  3. Wash and dry the radishes, discarding any large or damaged leaves. If they’re large, slice them lengthwise. Small ones can be left whole.
  4. Boil the eggs: cover them with cold water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Lift the eggs out of the water and sit them in eggcups. Meanwhile, toast the bread and spread with butter and Marmite (if using). Cut the slices into soldiers.
  5. To serve, arrange each eggcup on a plate, surrounded by Marmite soldiers, and a pile of radishes sprinkled with spring onions and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. Drop spoonfuls of fromage frais dip onto each plate and sprinkle a little pile of dukkah next to it.
  6. Dunk the soldiers into the eggs, and the radishes in the dip and the dukkah.

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