Mascarpone Scrambled Eggs with Arugula Pesto

Boring oatmeal is my normal breakfast of champions.  Monday through Friday I dutifully prepare it and swallow it down for its heart-healthy powers.  It helps that I sprinkle copious amounts of brown sugar over it and stir in a little heavyweight whole milk.  Yet no matter what I add with every bite I still know I’m eating oatmeal.

Which is why I love weekend breakfasts.   Plenty of coffee, fluffy pancakes, and lots of time to dwell over the paper make weekend breakfasts some of my favorite meals of the week.  Unfortunately a hectic work schedule over this past weekend had me eating oatmeal on the run this past Saturday and Sunday.  And when I woke up this morning, despite it being Monday, I just couldn’t stomach another bowl.

Fortunately what I had a craving for, Mascarpone scrambled eggs with arugula pesto, is ideal for a weekday morning as it only takes a quick 15 minutes to make.  All the ingredients for the pesto are pureed in a blender or food processor while the scrambled eggs cook quickly in the skillet.  Toast off a piece of whole wheat bread and you have a breakfast worthy enough to go with the Sunday New York Times in a Monday morning time frame! Note:  For those, like me, who battle with the abruptness of a Monday morning after a leisurely weekend, this breakfast does help ease the pain.

For those who typically make pesto using basil, the use of peppery arugula may seem a bit strange.  However, arugula makes a delicious pesto that is hearty enough to top steaks, but also plays well with shrimp in a light summer pasta.  In this recipe, pureed arugula, almonds and parmesan make a pesto with a bit of a kick.  The resulting vibrant green sauce not only looks striking against sunny yellow eggs, but its unique flavor pairs beautifully with the mascarpone. 

Mascarpone is best described as an Italian version of cream cheese.  Added to scrambled eggs, it provides a creaminess and sweetness that makes ordinary scrambled eggs seem a bit decadent.  If you don’t have mascarpone, don’t despair; regular cream cheese can be substituted with similar results.  

Mascarpone Scrambled Eggs with Arugula Pesto
Adapted from The Newlyweds’ Cookbook by Ryland Peters and Small
Serves 2

5 large eggs
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Mascarpone Cheese
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Arugula pesto (recipe follows), to taste

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and whole milk until well-combined.  Heat a medium skillet over high heat and add in the butter.  When the butter has melted, reduce the heat of the skillet to medium and add the eggs and mascarpone cheese.  Stir the eggs gently until they form soft lumps.  Remove the eggs from the heat and season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Top the scrambled eggs with the arugula pesto and serve over a piece of whole wheat toast.

Arugula Pesto
Makes about 1/2 cup

2 large handfuls of Arugula
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil, more if needed
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Puree the ingredients until the mixture is almost smooth.  Add more olive oil if needed.

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