How do you eat your eggs in the morning? If the answer to that one isn’t “with plenty of pesto”, then clearly you’re not on TikTok.
Following from the internet sensation that was baked feta pasta, the latest food trend to go viral is pesto eggs.
Like all the best ideas, there's a simple genius to peggsto (see what they did there?), whereby the butter or oil that you'd usually fry your eggs in is replaced with pesto – for a delicious salty, cheesy, umami-rich effect.
The TikTok responsible for sending pesto sales soaring and pushing previous breakfast trend pancake cereal out of the spotlight, was uploaded by home cook and registered dietitian Amy Wilichowski, who begins her 25-second recipe video saying: "I swear your life will be changed."
A bold statement, but one that might just be warranted given that the post has been viewed more than 10.9 million times. The pesto egg tag, meanwhile, has amassed about 90 million TikTok likes. Yes, 90 million.
Restaurants that serve pesto eggs
There's something about eggs and pesto that undoubtedly works, as evidenced by the fact at least two of the UAE's most loved breakfast spots already offer riffs on the combination.
Jones the Grocer's Hey Pesto dish is all about on-trend ingredients, featuring everyone's favourite smashed avocados spread on multigrain toast topped with a tangle of fresh herbs, perfectly poached eggs and an all-important drizzle of fresh basil pesto.
The pesto and scrambled egg toastie served up at Tania’s Teahouse in Dubai, meanwhile, brings us a winning mix of soft scrambled eggs, melted cheese and home-made pesto, proving that it’s not just the interiors that are Instagram-worthy at this home-grown hotspot.
Anna Malla, manager at Tania’s Teahouse, says that while the pesto toastie has always been popular, recently there has been a noticeable spike in the number of people not just ordering the dish, but taking photos of it before tucking in.
Pesto eggs recipe and tips
Wilichowski finishes her dish by spreading toast with ricotta and mashed avocado, quickly followed by those pesto eggs, a little honey and a scattering of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
In a bid to not just jump on the bandwagon, but direct it in a slightly new direction, we introduced some regional flavour when we tried our own version. The ricotta was swapped for thick creamy labneh, zaatar replaced the red pepper flakes, and peppery rocket added a slight bitterness, which was countered by a drizzle of Omani honey. The results were, if we do say so ourselves, mighty fine.
Of course, the beauty of this dish is the scope it offers for variation and customisation – so feel free to take the base idea and make it your own.
Before you do so, though, keep a few things in mind. The higher quality the pesto, the better-tasting the end result, so it might well be worth paying the extra for a fresh version or making your own. If you do opt for home-made, add a splash more olive oil than usual.
To help prevent the yolks from overcooking as you battle to set the whites, start with eggs that are as fresh as possible and at room temperature. For perfect sunny side-up eggs, the heat should be medium-low – you don’t want the pesto to catch and burn or the eggs to sizzle violently.
Swirl your pesto over the base of the pan and wait for some of the oil to be released before cracking in the eggs and frying for two to three minutes or until done to your liking. It’s as simple as that.