Whether over-easy, soft-boiled, lightly fried, or poached, runny-yolk eggs are one of the simplest, most delicious things in the world. But with so many ways to cook an egg, we can often fall back on one way to enjoy that yolk: bread.
Yes, buttered toast dipped in runny yolks is our go-to for a reason. It's delicious. But there are lots of reasons to branch out, for health or variety, and there are lots of other ways to enjoy your runny yolks.
Requisite disclaimer: Consuming raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. OK, moving on!
Recipes are great for breaking out of your egg-eating habits. While eggs and buttered toast are just richness on top of richness, these recipes balance egg yolks with the bright, cool flavours and a kick of citrus. Julia Turshen's Olive Oil-Fried Eggs with Yogurt & Lemon, from Food 52, call for a base of lemony yogurt underneath your fried eggs. These Vietnamese Fried Eggs from Food & Wine call for eggs that are basically poached in oil, served on top of a Vietnamese herb salad.
But the beauty of eggs is that you don't need a recipe to make them. One of the best things to do with a gently fried or soft-boiled egg is to plop it on a bowl of something — as you cut into the egg, the yolk mixes through, adding a rich and savoury sauce. I've enjoyed eggs on top of risotto, roasted potatoes, creamed spinach, sautéed vegetables — it's hardly a comprehensive list, but it's a starting place.
Soft eggs are also amazing on almost any leftovers. I love eggs over leftover Indian food like saag paneer. My husband bakes eggs in leftover pasta (tomato sauce, cheese, and all), until the whites are solid and the yolks are soft. You can reheat leftover pizza in a hot oven with an egg cracked over the top. (Wait for the pizza to get warm before you add the egg.)
Finally, especially as cold weather and cold season approach, don't forget soup. You can poach your eggs right into the broth on the stovetop — and since you're eating it all together, you don't have to worry about your poached eggs being pretty or even staying whole. When you cut into the eggs you get ribbons of yolk running through the broth. You won't miss your toast at all.