Michael Pollan’s Scrambled Eggs

Michael’s favorite scrambled-egg add-in? Fresh herbs! Serve the eggs with toast, or stuffed into a pita.

kitchen gear

  • Small bowl
  • Fork or whisk
  • Small pan
  • Spatula



  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper



  • Crack the eggs, one at a time — at the midpoint between the more-rounded (wide) end and pointier end of the egg — by hitting it quickly against the sharp edge of the bowl. Hold the egg over the bowl with the cracked part facing up. Pry the shell open gently and allow the egg to slide into the bowl. 
  • When all the eggs are in the bowl, use the fork or whisk to beat them until they are pale yellow. 
  • Put the pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When it is hot, add the butter or oil. 
  • Add the eggs. The egg on the bottom, closest to the heat, will set first: drag the spatula across the bottom of the pan so that the egg that hasn’t set yet can run underneath the egg that has. Keep pulling the cooked egg aside until all of the runny egg has had a chance to cook. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve right away. 


Add these at the beginning:

  • Sliced onion or scallions
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Diced peppers or zucchini

Cook these in butter or oil first, and then, when they’re tender, add the eggs and scramble them together.

Add these when the eggs are almost set:

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar, Parmesan, or crumbled feta cheese
  • Diced baked tofu
  • Chopped fresh herbs, especially basil, chives, and parsley
  • Baby spinach or kale

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