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Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Eggs are really pretty bland on their own, so they heavily benefit from added seasonings like a spritz of hot sauce, ketchup, or onion powder. I enjoy many sauces and dips with my eggs, but a recent discovery has me hoarding seemingly empty olive jars in my fridge. Make your eggs irresistible by getting them dirty with olive juice.

When I say “getting them dirty with olive juice,” I mean really dirty, like a martini. You’re going to end up having a second, special olive brine jar that you use just for eggs (the other is for tequila dirty martinis, of course). This stash of brine is for mixing into your eggs and spooning over your eggs. I understand an initial quizzical reaction, but olive juice with eggs makes perfect sense. Eggs are uniquely versatile. Their mild flavor and protein structure allows them to function beautifully in both sweet and savory applications. This mellow flavor profile is what allows them to pair up easily with just about any sauce you like. If you’re an olive fan, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re going to love adding olive juice to your eggs for breakfast.

For a subtle but deliciously briny breakfast, add the olive juice straight to the eggs before cooking. For scrambled eggs or an omelette, just splash it into the eggs as you mix. For my scramble, I’ll use two large eggs and one tablespoon of brine. Whisk and cook as usual. If you normally add salt, water, milk, or cream, don’t do it. The olive juice is mostly water, salt and vinegar anyway. If you think you’ll miss the fat from the milk or heavy cream, add a little cheese instead to build up the richness without adding more liquid. Adding olive brine gives the finished egg dish a more complex flavor than simply adding salt. It doesn’t scream, “olive juice was here,” but it has an addicting savory quality (also called umami) that makes you misty-eyed when you realize there are no more eggs left on your plate.

If you enjoy eggs poached, fried, or boiled, olive juice can be used like a sauce. I find it to be most successful when there’s a sturdy multigrain toast or an English muffin involved. To use olive brine as a sauce, simply drizzle a teaspoon or so over your toast and allow it to soak in before topping it with your preferred egg. Top the egg with a bit more brine, but be careful not to overdo it (usually a tablespoon all told is plenty), especially if you’re using a more delicate bread like brioche, which can become soggy and fall apart. Add some sliced avocado, thinly sliced tomato, and top with another slice of olive juice-tinged toast, and you’ve got yourself a breakfast sandwich to write home about.

  



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