“Maybe you think you don’t want to work on vacation. But when you’re staying at Babylonstoren, tucked in the Cape Winelands outside Cape Town, you’d be wrong. To start, you can play farmhand on the hotel’s 1,400 breathtaking acres: Gather produce – peaches, mulberries, stuff you’ve never even heard of (loquats!) – bake bread early in the morning, press olive oil from the 8,800 olive trees, harvest honey with the resident beekeeper. Then head back to your room, stylish whitewashed quarters inspired by centuries-old farm cottages, and cook your bounty in the room’s glass-cubed kitchen. Open a bottle of wine from the property, and wonder why making dinner doesn’t feel this magical at home.” (Excerpts and Recipes from “Eat, Drink, and Garden Your Heart Out at Babylonstoren,” in the May 2015 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. // Recipes by Maranda Engelbrecht).
Poached Eggs with Mushroom, Tamarillo, and Sage
“Babylonstoren’s Maranda Engelbrecht uses exotic tamarillos. If you can get them, great. If not, tomatoes are your best swap.”
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
8 ounces (~225 grams) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, torn into pieces
8 ounces (~225 grams) oyster mushrooms, trimmed, torn into pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1/4 cup sage leaves
8 tamarillos, peeled, thinly sliced, or 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored, thinly sliced (or a mix of both)
2 ounces (~55 grams) Parmesan, shaved
Flaky sea salt to taste
Bring 2 inches water to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and add vinegar. Crack an egg into a small bowl; gently slide egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until whites start to set before adding the next. Poach until white are set and yolks are still runny, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs as they are done to paper towels.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add half of both mushrooms; season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining mushrooms and another 2 tablespoons butter; transfer to same plate. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high; cook sage, shaking skillet, until fragrant and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels with a slotted spoon. Reserve skillet.
Divide tamarillo slices among plates, arranging so they overlap; season with kosher salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
If butter has started to solidify, return mushrooms to reserved skillet and gently reheat over medium, tossing. Using a slotted spoon, spoon mushrooms over tamarillos, top with poached eggs, fried sage, and Parmesan. Season with sea salt and more pepper. Drizzle any butter in skillet over eggs.