Yellow Lentil Cakes with Poached Eggs

3/4 cup yellow lentils, rinsed three times in cold water and drained
1 tsp fine sea salt, plus more for the eggs
6 eggs (4 are to poach)
1/3 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
1 medium green onion, sliced into thin pieces
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 ounce finely grated Idiazabal cheese (you can use Manchego or Parmesan)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Red peppercorns, to top the eggs

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add the yellow lentils. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes until tender, but not too mushy. Drain the lentils and transfer to a large bowl.

Lightly whisk 2 of the eggs and add to the lentils along with the breadcrumbs, green onion, chopped herbs, Idiazabal, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Take about 1/4 cup of mixture, roll into balls and then gently flatten the ball slightly to form the cakes.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and add the lentil cakes to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the cakes take on a golden brown color. Turn the cakes over and finish cooking on the other side. Finish cooking all the cakes and keep them in a heated oven or warming drawer.

In the meantime, fill a medium saucepan with about 5 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat and add the white wine vinegar. Crack the eggs into a clean shallow bowl. With the help of a wooden spoon, stir the water in a circular motion and as the water is swirling, gently add the eggs in the water. Make sure the water is boiling lightly but we don’t want it to boil too briskly. Reduce heat if needed. With a slotted spoon, turn the eggs slightly so the egg white encases the yolk. Cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes until the white is cooked but the yolk is still liquid. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain the excess water. Serve them immediately over the lentil cakes and sprinkle a bit more sea salt on top and some red peppercorn flakes.

The lentil cakes can also be frozen and heated in the oven.

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