Know how to boil an egg? Easy, right? Rose Carrarini gives it just eight paragraphs — four for soft-boiled, three for hard, one for both — in answering the question. That leaves some 132 pages to fill in her new book, "How to Boil an Egg" (Phaidon, $35). She does so rather well, with simple, delicious recipes you'll want to make year-round.
That's because Carrarini, owner with her husband of the well-regarded Rose Bakery, a bakery/restaurant with four locations in Paris, looks at all the possibilities eggs offer a cook — from gnocchi to crepes, muffins to salads, cakes to chawanmushi, the Japanese custard.
The 84 recipes are billed as "simple and nutritious." True. But they get a haute cuisine presentation in this handsomely produced book with its eye-catching tangerine cover. Sprinkled liberally amid the text are drawings of finished dishes by Fiona Strickland, a Scotland-based botanical artist. Her work has a startling realism that makes the reader look twice.
Eggs Baked in Dashi
Dashi is a Japanese broth; you can buy it powdered at Asian markets and mix with water.
Grease 4 small gratin dishes with oil. Place in a cold oven and preheat to 350 F. Add 3 tablespoons hot dashi to each dish. Return to the oven to heat for a few minutes.
Crack 2 eggs into each dish. Put the dishes in a roasting pan; pour warm water into the pan to come about a third of the way up the sides of the dishes. Cover with foil; bake until the eggs are just set, about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle crumbled toasted nori seaweed and sesame seeds on top to serve.