Soft Eggs on a Bed of Spring Garden Vegetables

eggs in bed of garden veggies

This recipe came about on a weekend afternoon as I was puttering around in the garden weeding and thinning out crops that were too closely planted. Radishes were the main culprit. I don’t plant them in rows or in a dedicated space for that matter. Instead, I pop the seeds into gaps here, there, and everywhere. And then I forget where I planted them. Days later I plant some more. Or the squirrels dig them up and shift them too close to other plants. Or, like last year, I allow the crop to go rogue and now, in the spring, I find myself with loads of closely-packed plants.

But this is not a problem, because while the roots may be small, there are handfuls of lush greens that can be wilted, roasted, or fried. This is something I did not understand with my first unsuccessful attempts at growing radishes years ago. While the roots can be tricky if the soil is too dry or shallow, the prickly, hairy greens are very edible when cooked. In fact, they’re delicious!

radish thinnings from the garden

So this is where I was on the weekend: a pile of thinned-out radishes in hand and lunchtime looming. I looked around the garden and considered what else I could add. The ‘Egyptian Walking’ onions were (and continue to be) abundant. The tarragon was growing bigger by the minute with lots of tender new growth at the tips. The chives were beginning to blossom and for the first time my little asparagus patch was old enough to offer up a few spears for eating. I got myself a stew going! (not really) But add a few eggs and I’ve got myself a well-rounded meal!

eggs in bed of garden veggies

RECIPE: Soft Eggs on a Bed of Spring Vegetables from the Garden

Serves 2-4 people (depending on whether you eat this as a side or a full meal)


  • 1 potato, thinly sliced
  • 2 ‘Egyptian Walking’ onions or scallions
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • 4-6 small radishes, including their greens
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1/4-3/4 cup water or stock
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 chive blossoms, chopped
  • 2-4 tablespoons plain yoghurt (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste

Wash the vegetables and trim off any tough ends. Cut the onions and asparagus spears into 2-inch lengths and cut in half lengthwise if thick. Cut whole radishes into halves or quarters lengthwise, including the greens.

eggs in bed of garden veggies
Everything washed, trimmed, chopped, and ready to go.

Cook the onions and potatoes together in a large cast iron skillet or fry pan along with the butter or oil until translucent. Add the asparagus, radishes, and half of the water (or stock) and simmer with the lid on. Add more water if needed.

When the greens are wilted and the potatoes are cooked through, remove the lid and push aside some of the veg to make four small spaces for the eggs. Crack one egg into each “nest,” sprinkle in the tarragon, replace the lid, and cook until the eggs are as soft or hard as you like them.

Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, chopped chives, and a pinch of sea salt to taste.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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16 thoughts on “Soft Eggs on a Bed of Spring Garden Vegetables

  1. Looks so pretty and sound delicious. I don’t think there are many — if any — ways of eating that are healthy and tastier than preparing your own freshly harvested vegetables from the garden. I’d choose this any day over a fancy restaurant meal.

    I think your next project needs to be a cookbook!

    Love your cast iron frying pan.

  2. Oh yum. That sounds and looks delicious! I don’t have potatoes or radishes growing but I have everything else and can make up the radish greens with chard. I’ll be serving this up very soon indeed.

    • I have potatoes growing but they are no where near ready. We just happened to have a potato so I threw that in to use it up.

  3. You certainly bring creativity to cooking. I tend to be timid and stick to the tried and true. I’ve got to ask, was there ever a time that you combined things that were flops?

    • Oh yes, definitely! Although I seem to make more judgement errors when baking. I learned to cook in a fancy restaurant that I worked in as a teenager (I got a really good education there), but baking is something I’ve approached slowly and with some trepidation.

  4. Looks delicious…I am always wondering what to do with radish greens (the farmer at our local farmer’s market in Nova Scotia will not sell a bunch of radishes, which she sells with their greens, to someone who will not use the greens!!) Now I have a good recipe for them. Thanks.

    • That farmer is educating people. It was years before I realized how edible they are. I made soup from a bunch last night!

  5. Beautiful! I listened to your recent podcast with Margaret Roach on tomatillos and thank you so much for your abundant information. I planted out 3 seedlings yesterday and am so excited. I’ve always loved salsa verde and had never thought of growing my own tomatillos. Now transplanted from Southern California to New England, I’m having to grow some of my own. Your tutorial has helped tremendously. Thanks so much!

    • Great to hear! I also planted 3 this weekend! I can buy tomatillos here in Toronto, but they are nowhere near as good as those that I grow myself. Homegrown are much sweeter and more complex — they’re a lot like tomatoes in that sense as well.

  6. I’ve never heard of “Egyptian Walking onions” but I’m looking forward to trying them. I love radish greens too I can’t wait to eat this.

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