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Get Cracking!

Quick to prepare, eggs—whether chicken, duck, or quail—are incredibly versatile and great for any meal of the day.

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Eggs are having a moment. Chicken eggs from responsibly raised hens taste as fresh as if you got them from the coop this morning. And rich duck eggs and delicate speckled quail eggs, once available only to chefs, are popping up everywhere.

The richness of duck eggs has made them a favorite in Asia for thousands of years, and the French have prized their condiment-like orange yolks for salads for generations. I like to serve them poached on top of spring asparagus with a punchy pancetta vinaigrette.

Once the property of sushi restaurants, quail eggs are now available at gourmet groceries and Asian markets. I love to hard boil them, dip them in shichimi togarashi, and use them as an unexpected element on grazing boards or give them the spotlight in the hand-held Caesar salad recipe included here.

Even ordinary chicken eggs can be kicked up to the next level with conscientious shopping and cooking. I love to scramble pasture-raised eggs in a double boiler. Though it requires a bit of patience, the resulting low- and-slow cooking creates luxuriously creamy eggs.

Not to be outdone by breakfast, great eggs can be served at lunch and dinnertime, too. A gratin filled with high-quality eggs, cream, Castelvetrano olives, and crispy focaccia crumbs is a favorite meatless Monday entrée in our house.

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