, Gloucester, MA

May 1, 2013

Bright brunch dish

Avocado halves become baskets for poached eggs

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

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Everyone loves avocados as the chunky, spring-green companion to a bowl of corn chips, guacamole. But did you know that sliced in half, sprinkled with chili powder and set face down on a grill or sauté pan, avocados make the most heavenly container for a poached egg?

Warm avocado, its surface toasty and crisped from the pan, is a divine taste alone. Or throw a few halves on a grill at your next barbecue, and spoon the warm fruit, sprinkled with salt, pepper and a little lime, right out of the shell as a quick appetizer.

Here, Heather Atwood takes this delicious premise, and makes it brunch, or a fabulous light lunch. The avocado half is seasoned, then set face down on a hot pan and crisped. Once it is nicely browned, Atwood turns the avocado rightside-up, and slips a raw egg into the tiny bowl left by the pit. Sprinkle some chopped onion around the pan, cover, and let the eggs poach.

Warm avocado and a slightly runny poached egg, with a toss of cilantro on top, updates the brunch menu to health-packed and modern. Toasts or even pita crisps on the side would be delicious, too.

Avocados are also good sources of heart-healthy fats, fiber and vitamins. Say adios to Hollandaise sauce!

Egg in Avocado Basket


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 avocados

4 eggs

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 to 3 tablespoons water

1 cup mixed greens (optional: dressed with olive oil, lime, salt and pepper)

1 chopped tomato

1/4 cup cilantro leaves


1. Slice a small sliver off of each avocado side to make a stand for them. Cut unpeeled avocados in half. Remove the pit. If the remaining hole is not very large, scoop out enough to hold the egg. Sprinkle chili powder and salt and pepper over the top of the avocado.

2. Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add the olive oil, and allow it to heat. Set the avocado halves into the oil cut side down. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until the avocados are crispy. Turn them over in the pan.

3. Crack all four eggs gently into a bowl. Scoop out a yolk, and set it into the hole of the avocado. Do that with the remaining 3 yolks. Spoon whites over the yolks to fill the holes to brimming. Scatter the onion around the avocados. Add the water, and cover the pan. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until the eggs are set.

4. Toss the greens with the olive oil, lime, salt and pepper. Divide them among four plates. Set an avocado on each plate. Stir together the browned onion left in the pan, and spoon over the eggs. Sprinkle chopped fresh tomato over each. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of food blogger Heather Atwood,, 2013.