Brown Butter Scrambled Eggs with Herbs (Whole30 and Paleo DIY Ghee, too!)
I am an admitted Francophile. I have an unadulterated love for France and the cuisine in all its buttery, wine-soaked goodness. Our first trip to this beautiful country was an earned incentive with my company and we fell in love with the whole culture. But a later trip with our toddler, who ate a lot of eggs, inspired these Brown Butter Scrambled Eggs with Herbs.
Dining habits in France are quite different from the US. Meals are always served in multiple courses (minimum of two). Coffee is not served with dessert, it's a post-dessert beverage and then only in thimble-sized bracing shots of thick espresso. YUM! You are probably not going to be automatically served bread before dinner (nor a plate to go with it) in a restaurant. Cheese is served unaccompanied as its own course and may have a lingering "aroma", especially the oozey cheeses. And here’s the one that probably frustrates both Americans and those from the UK the most…you won’t find eggs offered for breakfast. Breakfast is typically a croissant or baguette with a milky coffee or espresso.
Our second trip was totally on our agenda (and our dime) so we decided that since we were traveling with a toddler that we would just pretend to live in France and do what we would do as a family there. We rented an apartment in the heart of Paris and frequented the shops and bistros nearby.
Omelets, quiche, and other egg dishes are served on casual bistro menus as lunch or dinner. For us, they were the saving grace of traveling with a toddler in this marvelous country. Harrison, our now 20 year old, was perfectly happy tucking into his Gruyere-oozing omelet on our many lunches out. Incidentally, he STILL loves eggs!
Upon returning, we decided to adopt this at home as well. Since we practice intermittent fasting, this works very well for us as we don’t eat our first meal until noon or later. Therefore, eggs for lunch or dinner are our only options. While I have a whole arsenal of egg recipes in my head, my favorite and the simplest way to make them is scrambling with brown butter and herbs.
What to Serve with Brown Butter Scrambled Eggs
Depending on the season, you could serve a simple mixed green salad with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette. If it’s summer, make a tomato salad with basil and extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Roasted Veggies or potatoes would also be good. For this meal, I made a Fall salad of arugula, pears and roasted sweet potatoes. If you want to complete the French bistro experience, serve the eggs with a glass of French Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. These both complement the herbs and brown butter nicely.
When you make something this simple, you really need to have the very best ingredients. This is actually a secret of French cooking; buy the best ingredients and do as little as possible to them.
Finally, being outed as a perfect protein and not the cholesterol increasing villain they once were, eggs are my friend for quick meals. Eggs are super easy and no matter what you have in your fridge, will play nice; vegetables, bits of meat, any number of cheeses. In fact, they are a go-to when I’m cleaning out my fridge. Look for truly pastured eggs, such as Vital Proteins, to get the most nutrients and healthiest version. Better yet, see if you have a neighbor that raises eggs.
Look for a European butter as it has a much higher fat content and will taste much creamier than regular butter. I also buy unsalted in order to control the salt type and amount on my end. Supposedly, this also means you are getting a higher quality product, too as they can’t hide inferior cream behind salt.
While dried herbs have their place, definitely use fresh herbs for this recipe. You can use one or all, but look for the freshest herbs you can find. They should not look dehydrated, be turning brown or wilted. You can store them in your fridge for weeks so even if you only make this recipe once and have a bunch left over, you can use them up later. (This Chicken Pot Pie is a perfect fall recipe to use them.)
How to Make Browned Ghee for Whole30 and Paleo
Use ghee instead of butter. If you can find a ghee that has a tan color, it has been taken beyond the simple clarification process and may already have the caramelized flavor inherent to brown butter. This is probably hard to find so you can make your own instead.
Melt a stick of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. It will sputter for awhile, then settle down. When you see the foam begin to subside and sink to the bottom start watching it as that foam is the milk solids that need to be removed to make clarified butter. We are going to take it one step further by letting those milk solids turn dark amber then straining them out. That’s it. You will get the full caramelized flavor without the milk solids. Be looking for a post on this soon.
Brown Butter Scrambled Eggs with Herbs
Note: this is for 2 people.
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage and/or thyme (thyme and rosemary can be whole sprigs, remove sage from stem)
Optional: shaved Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
Beat the eggs well.
In a skillet, melt butter in the oil over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add herbs. No need to remove the thyme or rosemary from the stem as they will get crispy so you can crumble over the eggs.
When the herbs are crispy and the butter is turning amber, remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the herbs to a paper towel, reserving the butter and oil in the skillet.
Return the skillet to the burner. Let the butter brown a few more seconds, watching the whole time, then add the eggs. Immediately start stirring to create medium sized "pillows". When the eggs are barely cooked through, remove from heat to stop the cooking process but keep stirring.
Before serving, crumble the herbs over the top, then sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper. If you are using cheese, let melt on the hot eggs. Serve immediately.