Eggs and roasted leeks with mayo hollandaise

There are five French “mother sauces” in the culinary world that comprise the base of many French dishes. They are Béchamel, Veloute, Espagnole, Sauce Tomat, and Hollandaise. 
If you’re not familiar with hollandaise, it’s essentially egg yolks and butter, and it is delicious. The “hollandaise” in this recipe is not the real deal. It’s not as good, but it’s quite different, so it doesn’t taste like a failed copycat. It’s a little lighter, made with mayo and sour cream (or yogurt), and much simpler to make. Traditional Hollandaise can be a little tricky and it can “break” if not done correctly, but this one is hard to mess up. 
Leeks, if you’ve never had them, are vegetables in the onion family. They have a mild onion taste and a great texture. Most importantly, though, they pair perfectly with eggs. In scrambled eggs? Fantastic. In a frittata? Even better. Roasted? Oh man. 

Eggs and roasted leeks
Serves 2

1 medium leek
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 cups water
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 eggs
1/4 cup of your favorite croutons

Mayo “hollandaise”
2 Tbsp mayonnaise (regular or lite will work)
1 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Cut the tough top and the root end off the leek, leaving only the tender middle. Remove the outer layer of the leek and discard. Slice the leek down the middle to divide into two. For a prettier presentation, cut only the root end off and slice the leek width-wise, leaving the tough green tops intact. 
  3. Place the leek halves cut side up on a sheet pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until the leeks are tender and golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, make the mayo hollandaise. Just combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl and place over a double boiler to warm (I used my poaching water in step 5 – this means less dishes to clean!). Feel free to thin it out with some milk if you want it a bit runnier. 
  5. About 10 minutes before the leeks are done roasting, begin heating the water and vinegar in a small 1.5 quart saucepan. Adjust the heat to get the water to simmer (not boil!). Give the water a stir in a circular motion with a slotted spoon to create a whirlpool. Drop 1 egg into the center of the whirlpool. This, along with the vinegar, will help to keep the egg intact. Cook the egg for 2-3 minutes or until the white is cooked and the yolk is runny. Remove with the slotted spoon and place on a folded paper towel to absorb the extra water. Repeat with egg #2.
  6. To make the crunchy breadcrumb topping, just put the croutons in a food processor and give them a few pulses to chop them roughly. 
  7. Plate your breakfast: place a leek half down first, then top with 1 poached egg, followed by the hollandaise sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of crouton breadcrumbs. 
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed more people. Just make sure to poach the eggs last – when they’re cold, they aren’t nearly as tasty.