Leave it to Dr. Seuss to inspire a breakfast as whimsical and cheery as green eggs and ham. It's probably safe to say since the book Green Eggs and Ham was published in 1960, parents have been trying to find a way to create the titular dish for eager children.
The challenge with green eggs and ham is making a version that you actually want to eat. After trying every variation of this silly pairing to be found on the web, I can confidently say that this version — creamy scrambled eggs tinted with a flavorful and, most importantly, bright-green spinach sauce — is the best recipe for actually getting your kids to eat the green eggs and ham they read about.
The Secret to Tasty Green Eggs: Spinach Sauce
I have nothing against food coloring and even gave both green and blue dyes a try for my first attempts at green eggs and ham. Both looked great in the mixing bowl, but turned muddy in color when cooked. The more coloring I added to the eggs, the less appealing they became to my kids.
It was a quick sauté of spinach for dinner that led me instead to an herby spinach sauce for both flavoring the eggs and making them a vivid shade of green.
Think of this sauce as a minimalist pesto since we're leaving out the nuts and garlic. The bulk of the flavor (and color) comes from the combination of puréed spinach, parsley, and basil. Parmesan and olive oil add richness and smooth out the vegetal flavor.
Make-Ahead! You can make this sauce the night before or even several days in advance in preparation for your Seussical breakfast.
Soft-Scrambled Makes the Best Green Eggs
Once you've made a quick spinach sauce, you'll fold part of it into beaten eggs before cooking them. To keep as much color as possible in the spinach, you want to soft scramble the eggs, cooking them slowly over low heat.
You'll end up with a pan of super-creamy, bright-green eggs.
Keep the Ham Simple
I know that Seuss's ham from Green Eggs and Ham is also very green, but rather than dye ham for breakfast, I opted to leave the ham as is. You can brush deli ham or even Canadian bacon with some of the spinach sauce for the full green eggs and ham effect, but at my house, super-green eggs for breakfast are more than enough to deliver the delight.
How To Make Green Eggs and Ham
What You Need
2 cups packed baby spinach, arugula, or baby kale
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, plus more for serving
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Toast, for serving
Measuring cups and spoons
Medium nonstick skillet
1 medium skillet
- Make the green sauce: Place the spinach, parsley, basil, and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until finely chopped, 10 to 12 (1-second) pulses. With the processor running, drizzle in the oil until the herbs are very finely chopped and the oil is green, about 1 minute.
- Fold the green sauce into the eggs: Place the eggs and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and break up the eggs. Fold in 1/4 cup of the spinach sauce. (The remaining sauce can be saved for future use.)
- Cook the eggs: Melt the butter in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the eggs and cook low and slow, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the eggs form tender, large curds of eggs, but the eggs are still quite moist, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Warm the ham: While the eggs cook, place the ham in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Serve: Serve the warmed eggs on toast with the ham on the side. Top the eggs with more parsley if desired.
- Make ahead: The spinach sauce will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.