Well Being

Brunch-Off: Savory Ricotta & Scallion Scones And Poached Eggs With Roasted Spring Onion Salsa

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Welcome to our seventh Brunch-Off, our column devoted to brunch recipes. In a bid to get more people cooking seasonally, we're featuring seasonal brunch and breakfast recipes every Saturday morning. The twist? We’ll be asking two food bloggers to give us their own brunch recipes featuring the same predetermined seasonal ingredient for a friendly competition. (And we want to hear your ideas, too!)

This week's seasonal ingredient, the spring onion, is often used as a garnish. But as food bloggers Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough and Nadia of Life Over Easy show us, there's good reason to let these snappy little onions (in season right now, for early spring) take center stage in your recipes. See what they've done with spring scallions for brunch!

Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough has created a mouthwatering brunch/breakfast bread:

I made these savory biscuit-scones on a whim one chilly winter afternoon, after consuming one too many sweets leftover from Valentine's Day. I had some extra ricotta cheese and stalks of bright green onions loafing around in the fridge and a crazy hankering for biscuits — thus these fluffy and buttery scones came into being (I call them scones because of their shape, but really, if you cut the dough into biscuit-like shapes, they magically become biscuits). Top them with a little egg wash for that crunchy golden crust, some sea salt and a little smoked paprika for good measure and in no time at all, you've got yourself an excellent breakfast companion.

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Savory Ricotta and Scallion Scones
Inspired by Joy the Baker and Smitten Kitchen (really, are we surprised?)

Yields: 8 fluffy scones

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika for topping

Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in scallions and ricotta cheese. Add milk and stir until just combined and a shaggy dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a ball. Carefully pat down ball into a 1-inch-tall rectangle; divide into 8 equal pieces. Carefully transfer scones to an ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until scones are golden brown and puffy. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before serving.

Nadia of Life Over Easy roasts her green onions, imbuing them with a totally new flavor and serving them with a classic poached egg:

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Poached Eggs with Roasted Spring Onion Salsa

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 egg
splash white  vinegar
focaccia bread
3 tbsps ricotta cheese
1 bunch spring onions
4 sundried tomatoes
3 tbsps roasted hazelnut oil
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper
pinch coarse sugar
1.  Set oven to broil.
2.  On a roasting pan, drizzle onions with roasted hazelnut oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
3.  Roast until lightly browned and caramelized, about 8 minutes on high.  Coarsely chop.
4.  Prep sun dried tomatoes in 1/3 cup hot water to plump for 5 mins.  Coarsely chop.
5.  Lightly toast focaccia.
6.  Combine tomatoes and onions.  Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, you can add some cayenne for a hit of spicy goodness.
7.  Heat water and a splash of vinegar to a light simmer.  Poach your egg.
8.  Assemble; spread a little of salsa on your bread, add ricotta, top with egg and loads of yummy salsa.
9.  Enjoy!
All photos courtesy of Life Over Easy and Girl Versus Dough