Baked Eggs with Spinach, Chevre and TomatoesPosted: 1 April 2011
Not every brunch can be this.
Sad but true. Actually, I would get super bored if I had to eat any one thing all of the time. The exception to this is that I eat broccoli rabe every day for lunch. It’s not my whole lunch (that’s crazy!) but I always have a big stack of it. It’s delicious. Still, a big, heavy dish is best left for once and a while. Both for pants-fitting purposes as well as taste-bud-variety purposes.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a slight obsession with eggs. I love eggs. I love a nice creamy yolk that’s bright orange. I’m constantly finding new dishes to top with an egg. On top of pasta, an over-easy egg becomes the pasta sauce. It’s sort of amazing. Eggs are just so fast and easy to cook. They are full of protein and are low in calories for all of the nutrition they provide. And they’re flipping delicious.
We buy all our eggs from Blue Gentian Farm. They are, without a doubt, the best eggs either of us have ever had. Remember this post about what an egg yolk should look like if the hen has been eating dirt, grass and bugs? Yes. This is what they should look like. Bright orange. The yolks are so creamy and buttery, you can eat them on dry toast and feel like you’re eating a lavish meal. And I often do. Even in winter when the cold climate means chickens need some alternative food sources (like grains), the eggs from BGF are still several shades darker than your typical super market egg. Even a super market egg that says it’s ‘free range.’ If we’ve learned anything from Michael Pollan, it’s that ‘free range’ often just means there’s a door cracked open somewhere that the chickens could potentially go outside if they had the initiative to. Not the case with BGF and I’m sure, numerous other farms that sell eggs and meats at local farmer’s markets. These chickens are the definition of free-roaming!
|Photo courtesy of Blue Gentian Farm|
These eggs are addictive. I will go out of my way to create a new recipe that uses eggs. This brunch is a much lighter, healthier option than the Chicken Fried Steak, although in both the bright orange yolks of BGF eggs played a starring role. Lighter and healthier, but still involving rich, dreamy egg yolks? Glee!
Honestly, these eggs are so delicious that I can’t bring myself to scramble them. I don’t want to waste a perfect, golden yolk by scrambling it. In the past, before we discovered the amazing virtue of these eggs, I would make a veggie scramble for a healthy breakfast and serve it with some grainy toast. Delicious, yes indeed. This breakfast was born of the desire to have all of those same things but to retain a golden egg yolk. Thus, a veggie-based egg bake. This was served with Breadsmith’s Mediterranean Herb bread which is my current favorite. So flavorful!
Baked Eggs with Spinach, Chevre and Tomatoes
2 generous handfuls of baby spinach
1 tomato, chopped
2 oz. goat cheese, broken into crumbles
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil spray or Pam
Heat your oven or large toaster oven to 350º. Lightly spray the bottom of a square baking dish with olive oil or Pam to prevent sticking. Layer the spinach, tomatoes, and crumbled cheese evenly. Season with salt and pepper, and garlic powder if you choose.
Pop it into the oven, uncovered for 5 minutes.
After five minutes, remove the baking dish and crack 4 eggs into it. Crack them gently to keep the yolks and egg whites in tact. Try to space them out so that each yolk has its own space, but is nestled in the spinach leaves. Put the dish back in the oven and continue baking.
This dish will be ready fast! Once the egg whites have turned mostly white you’re pretty much done. This takes about four minutes You want the yolks to have only a slightly cloudy appearance. Anything more and they’ll be cooked through. Not terrible, but also not gooey and delicious. I highly recommend checking on them every minute during the cooking process because they can over cook really easily. Luckily since they take almost no time to cook, you can pop this in the oven and be eating in minutes. Best of all worlds is a fast, easy, healthy, tasty breakfast. My work here is done.
Serve with crusty bread, toast, or anything you want to have slathered in eggs, cheese, spinach and tomatoes. If you happen to swing by the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market this Saturday to pick up eggs from Blue Gentian Farm, you may as well buy some of their uncured, nitrite-free bacon that comes from fully pastured hogs. It is irresistible. It also just happens to goes really well with this egg bake.
Does anyone else share my egg obsession?