Gulls' eggs with celery salt

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Here I am giving the recipe for boiling an egg. Odder still, I'm telling you how to serve ready-boiled eggs, as that's how gulls' eggs are generally sold. If you can find them at all. For these are no ordinary eggs. You will need to ask a game-dealer or fishmonger to get gulls' eggs for you, and be prepared for them to be expensive, and I mean expensive. Expect to pay for each egg what you would normally pay for two dozen of the best free-range.

Here I am giving the recipe for boiling an egg. Odder still, I'm telling you how to serve ready-boiled eggs, as that's how gulls' eggs are generally sold. If you can find them at all. For these are no ordinary eggs. You will need to ask a game-dealer or fishmonger to get gulls' eggs for you, and be prepared for them to be expensive, and I mean expensive. Expect to pay for each egg what you would normally pay for two dozen of the best free-range.

In central London, Allen & Co in Mayfair (020-7499 5831) sells them; and in the City, so does RS Ashby in Leadenhall Market (020-7626 3871) which supplies City restaurants with them, also cooked. Portwine in Earlham Street, Covent Garden (020-7836 2353) can supply them raw if you order in advance. I'm not so hot on the rest of the country, but if you have a good butcher or game dealer, ask and they may be able to source some for you.

To cook, place the eggs in cold salted water, bring them to the boil and simmer gently for 7 minutes. Then refresh them in cold water.

Serve them either from a big bowl sitting on a nest of cut mustard cress, with some little pots of celery salt and good mayonnaise, or lay one peeled and one in its shell on each plate, on the cress.

These grilled vegetables are that tad more wintery and warming than the usual Provençal line-up, and just as adaptable. They could serve as an aside to a bowl of soup, and would be delicious with a slab of grilled white fish, or grazed on as they are.

If baby vegetables are hard to come by, you could mock this up using larger ones: aubergines can be thickly sliced, and courgettes sliced lengthwise into long, thick strips and then halved. Red miso is of medium strength and made with barley, though others could be used. Any health-conscious shop should have the wherewithal.

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