An indulgent brunch of Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini, Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce on toasted pumpernickel bread ticks all the boxes.  Throw in a crisp glass of Sancerre, referred to as a brunch friendly French white wine.

Why all the fuss?

Because, darn it, brunch matters.

Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce |

Oh, man, does it ever matter.  Brunch is the definitive emotional support meal.

Anyway, as a raconteur of all things eggy, you know that poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce have almost become something of a cliché – found on many, many restaurant brunch menus these days.

You also are certainly aware that prior to service, eggs can be poached in huge batches early in the morning and held in ice water for later reheating.

It get’s worse:

Hollandaise is also prepared ahead and kept warm for several hours during service.

If you’ve ever had a much too manhandled poached egg, with lumpy tepid Hollandaise, the horse racing expression ‘Rode hard and put away wet’ resonates.

Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce |

What’s the bottom line?

The irony is that it takes little time or skill to poach an egg and whisk up your own phenomenal Hollandaise.

My point is not to knock the quality of poached eggs in restaurants, but to encourage.  You can spark up a poached egg brunch at home, à la minute, with exceptionally delicious tasting results.

Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce |
Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce |

And here’s the best part.  The money shot:

Nothing compares to the creamy yellow center of a poached egg yolk as it’s sliced open and oozes its rich yolky goodness over creamed zucchini, asparagus spears, and toasted pumpernickel.

Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce |
Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce |
Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini, Asparagus, and Hollandaise
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An indulgent brunch of Poached Eggs with Creamed Zucchini, Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce on toasted pumpernickel bread ticks all the boxes.
Serves: 4
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices pumpernickel or whole grain bread
  • black pepper
Creamed Zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons butter, canola, or olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed, optional
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoon All-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoon heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Hollandaise Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry white French vermouth
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of cayenne
  • pinch of salt
  1. Make creamed zucchini: Wash and trim ends of zucchinis. Grate using a food processor outfitted with a grating disk or with a box grater.
  2. Extract juice from grated zucchini using a potato ricer, my personal choice, or compress and squeeze in two layers of paper towels. Reserve juice and gently warm in a small saucepan over very low heat. You'll be using the juice to add flavor to the creamed spinach.
  3. Heat skillet over medium-low heat, add butter cook until foam subsides. If you're using olive oil, heat without allowing oil to smoke. Add smashed garlic and sauté until it just beings to brown, releasing its fragrance. Remove garlic pieces from cooking fat using slotted spoon.
  4. Add minced shallot and sauté until translucent.
  5. Add grated zucchini and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Slowly add reserved zucchini juice and combine.
  6. Sprinkle flour over zucchini and cook for 1 more minute. Slowly add cream one tablespoon at a time to thicken. The butter, flour and cream over heat will develop into a beautiful sauce that will thicken the zucchini. Adjust seasonings to taste remove from heat.
  7. Make asparagus: Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil. Trim asparagus spears into short 2 to 3-inch lengths.
  8. Cook, in covered pot, for 2 to 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Set aside.
  9. Hollandaise Sauce: In small saucepan over low heat reduce lemon juice and vermouth to a little more than one tablespoon. Remove from heat and cool.
  10. In a second saucepan, whisk egg yolks vigorously for 3 minutes. Add a cube of room temperature butter and continue whisking for an additional minute.
  11. Over very low heat, continue whisking egg yolks for a few minutes to slowly thicken. You don't want to allow your yolks to scramble, so move your saucepan back and forth away from the heat. I've made enough batches of Hollandaise and Béarnaise over direct heat to attest to the fact that you don't need to fuss with a double boiler - just be careful to monitor and control the heat.
  12. As yolks begin to thicken, remove from heat, add a lump of butter and whisk vigorously. Continuing whisking and adding butter until sauce has thickened, returning to low heat to further thicken.
  13. Slowly add the cooled lemon reduction and whisk some more. This whole process should only take about 5 minutes, so don't over think it. With a little vigorous whisking, you'll be able to produce an excellent Hollandaise. Set aside, in a warm water bath if necessary, until your eggs are poached.
  14. Poach eggs: There are more tricks to poaching an egg than you can shake a stick at. This is the way we do it and have had great success.
  15. Bring a large kettle of water to a boil, filled with 4 inches of water. We're going to boil each egg for 10 seconds. This brief boiling will create very thin envelope around the egg that helps contain the egg during poaching.
  16. Take each egg, examine it for its fat end. Using a pointy metal instrument such as a grill skewer, gently pierce that fat end of the egg. The hole you're creating will allow the eggs air pocket to expand without cracking the shell and should be to a depth of only a millimeter or two.
  17. Boil each egg for 10 seconds, no more.
  18. Add ¼ cup white vinegar to boiling water and reduce heat to gentle simmer.
  19. Crack each egg, and hold it very close to the surface of the simmering water, allow it to slip gently from the shell into the water to poach. At this point you should set a timer for 4 minutes.
  20. Remove poached egg from water. With a large enough pot of water you should be able to poach two to three eggs at a time. Remove each egg with a large slotted spoon to a waiting paper towel. Pat dry.
  21. Assemble: Toast pumpernickel bread briefly under a broiler for 1 minute. Spoon warm creamed zucchini onto toast. Next, place a row of steamed asparagus spears, and atop of that place one of your poached eggs. Cover with a nice full ladle of Hollandaise and finish with cracked pepper.
Choose thin asparagus rather than the thick variety. The scale of the thin spears will balance well with the size of a poached egg.

Wine Pairing

A Sancerre wine is a crisp and bright compliment to poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce and  summertime vegetables like creamed zucchini and asparagus spears.