With eggs this pretty you don't want to futz much. Farm-fresh eggs like these need little enhancement — not much more than some butter and a warm pan, unless you're like me, in which case the thought of eating eggs without cheese will make you very, very sad.
Picking a cheese for your eggs might seem like a no-brainer: choose something with meltability that you have on hand. But for those times when you're willing to put in a bit more thought, you can make even the most simple scramble just a bit more memorable. Here are some cheese suggestions for the most simple of egg preparations, where you want the eggs themselves to sing. We're talking primarily of the scramble and the omelet, or if you're feeling ambitious, the soufflé.
For ingredient-heavy egg dishes, there are so many great cheeses to choose from, like feta, fresh goat cheese, or really sharp pecorino. Similarly, the salty, punchy attitude of a cheddar, gouda, or blue, will compete with the eggs for center stage. And while these cheeses surely have their place in the egg world, we're looking more for the creamy, buttery cheeses when it's the egg itself you want to praise.
The following suggestions have the ability to become one with your eggs and to recede into the background, offering exactly the right backdrop of fat and salt against which the eggs themselves can pop.
- Morbier- slightly stinky, creamy like milk, and mild
- Pleasant Ridge Reserve- meltable, nutty, and rich
- Comte- like golden butter, semi-firm, and is itself quite egg-y, in that cooked butter, souffle-y kind of way
- Parmigiano Reggiano- go easier on the salt you add if you decide to use parm. Although highly effective within your scramble, it can overpower if you overdo.
- Gruyere- a classic melter, as effective on your eggs as on your burger
- Ossau Vielle- sweet, milky, and floral, with none of the sheepy funk you often get from sheep milk cheese
- Fontina- looses a bit of its mildness when it's melted, becoming a rich and very savory cheese, but not too strong
An excellent tip is to grate your cheese with a fine microplane. It's a tool that makes for incredibly light, fluffy shavings of cheese, which will melt easily and cohesively into your eggs.
What are your favorite cheeses for eggs?
Related: My Adventures in Poaching an Egg
Nora Singley is an avid lover of cheese, and for some time she was a Cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City. She is currently an assistant chef on The Martha Stewart Show.
(Images: Nora Singley)