These TikTok famous eggs are even better with a Spanish twist

Because everything — yes, everything! — should have pesto fried eggs on top

By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Published May 26, 2021 10:00AM (EDT)
TikTok Eggs (Mary Elizabeth WIlliams)
TikTok Eggs (Mary Elizabeth WIlliams)

Don't overthink it — heat up a pan and make some eggs. Look, you're halfway to a male already. Eggs are the Swiss army knife of ingredients; they lift cheesecakes and flavor brownies. They stretch leftovers into croquettes and frittatas and pasta pies. Even the most extravagant, most golden-yolked ones you can buy are still a bargain. They're quick to cook, and when you give them a starring role in a meal, they never disappoint.

I discovered Elizabeth David's "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine" in college, and I've been a believer ever since in her unruffled philosophy that "so long as I have a supply of elementary fresh things like egg, onions, parsley, lemons, oranges and bread and tomatoes, I find that my store cupboard will always provide the main part of an improvised meal." If you think eggs are just for breakfast . . . have you ever tried putting them on everything?

Eggs are always popular. The average American consumes roughly 279 of them in a year — and pandemic baking has been making demand rise even higher than a spinach soufflé. Thanks to dietician and recipe developer Amy Wilichowski's "life-changing" TikTok video, eggs have enjoyed a new level of fame as of late. 

In the clip, which currently has more than 10 million views, Wilichowski simply uses pesto in place of the typical butter or oil to cook up a pair of eggs. "The taste is incredible, you won't go back," she promises as she fries them. Finally, she puts the eggs on avocado and ricotta smeared toast topped with honey and red pepper flakes.

While eggs with pesto are a concept as old as brunch itself, there's something endearing about taking pesto, the quiche of the '80s, and avocado toast, the pesto of the 2010's, and filtering it through TikTok, the Snapchat of the 2020's. The result is a dish that's both trendy and timeless, easily adaptable to your own preferred way of cooking eggs.

Because I love my eggs crispy, I've borrowed here from the Spanish technique, letting the pesto get an assist from a robust olive oil. Cooked this way yields intensely flavored eggs that are creamy in the middle and lacy at the edges. While they're a substantial meal served Wilichowski's way, they're also elegant served alongside a salad of deeply roasted spring vegetables or delicate greens . . . and a glass of wine!

***

Recipe: Crispy TikTok Pesto Eggs

Inspired by Amy Wilichowski and José Andrés

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 generous tablespoons of pesto (Tapenade would also be great here.)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 slice of your favorite bread, toasted
  • Salt and pepper, plus red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Over a high flame, heat a heavy cast iron pan.
  2. While the pan is heating, whisk your pesto and olive oil in a small bowl.
  3. Add your pesto and oil mixture to the pan, and let it heat up until shimmering. Lower the heat to medium.
  4. Break your eggs into your bowl, and then gently slide them into the hot pan. (Be careful: The oil will sizzle and sputter!)
  5. As the eggs cook, tip the pan to get the oil to pool. Next, spoon some of your hot oil on top of your eggs, avoiding the yolk.
  6. Continue cooking until the eggs are puffed up and crisp at the edges — no more than a minute.
  7. With a wide spatula, slide your eggs onto your toast. Top with a little more of your pesto oil from the pan, as well as salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes.

 

More Quick & Dirty: 

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Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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