Fried Eggs and Smoked Salmon over Polenta Cakes

A special breakfast/brunch notion.

Serving Size: 4

Poletna Cake with fried eggs, smoked salmon and arugula saladFried Eggs and Smoked Salmon over Polenta Cakes is what’s happening for Father’s Day brunch in our house. The fact that I’m posting it the night before will be a true test of whether my husband reads my blog.  I get a pretty nice breakfast on Mother’s Day, and this is what’s heading Gary’s way tomorrow a.m.

There is an ever-growing school of culinary thought that centers on the notion that anything good gets better when you put a fried egg on top.

And then with the growth of a movement there’s always a moment where it tips and a backlash forms, but really, I’ve not lost interest in this idea, within reasonable parameters. I’m not tossing a fried egg on my brownies.

But, it’s a nice way to make a plain side dish into something more substantive, and the way a runny yolk enhances whatever lays beneath is quite appealing.

This recipe is also an homage to my dream-that-will-never-die that my entire family will love polenta (and grits, almost the same thing)  as much as I do. It’s a work in progress.

And I know this dish looks a little long, and maybe complicated. It’s not. Read it through quickly and you’ll see.  It involves stirring and pan frying and that’s it.  Also you are going to make the polenta the night before, and just fry up the cakes in the morning.

I’m not insane enough to image you have time to let polenta cook, cool, and then fry in the morning.

And because I do love a fried egg…..I might make this next weekend.  For no reason whatsoever except that fried eggs are just wonderful things.

Puff Pastry Breakfast Tarts with Spinach, Egg and Cheese / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Fried Eggs and Smoked Salmon over Polenta Cakes


For the Polenta Cakes

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup stone ground polenta or grits
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Arugula Salad

  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, or other vinegar of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Eggs

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 extra large eggs
  • Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 4 pieces smoked salmon

1. Put the broth and milk in a heavy medium-sized pot and bring to a nice simmer over medium high heat. Lower the heat to medium and slowly sprinkle the polenta in, whisking constantly. Whisk frequently until the polenta has becomes like thick oatmeal consistency, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the Parmesan, butter, salt and pepper and stir to combine thoroughly.

2. Grease a large plate and spoon the polenta into four circles on the baking sheet, patting them into patties about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until very stiff and cool throughout (you can cover the cakes and refrigerate for up to 2 days).

3. Toss the arugula with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

4. Heat a very large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Then place the four polenta cakes in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned, then flip and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Place a handful of arugula on each of four plates, and place a polenta cake next to the arugula.   Drape a piece of salmon over each cake.

5. For the eggs, heat the butter in the same skillet, crack open the eggs into the skillet and cook them until they are as you like them. Place each egg on a salmon-draped polenta cake, season with salt and pepper and serve hot.


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