Spring Green Baked Eggs

Easter has come and gone, blossom is on the trees, you have shed the puffer jacket, you might have put it back on, and you have optimistically fired up the barbecue after it reached above 15 degrees. Spring is here people, and along with all the aforementioned this also comes with a new season of produce. Winter veg is great but its time for a change. I am talking less root veggies, and more of the green stuff. This recipe takes full advantage of springs’ seasonal produce by packing it all into one pan to serve up for a weekend brunch. It’s perfect to treat your family/flatmates on a slower Saturday morning when the weather is a little warmer and you are wanting something that tastes super fresh.

The baked eggs idea stems from shakshuka. It is similar to shakshuka in that it is eggs cooked in some kind of vegetable sauce – but that is about it. Whereas shakshuka uses a spiced tomato base, this recipe calls for a fresh and herby vegetal base. For my dish I used what was available to me, so that included Russian kale (I know…boujee), spinach (finely chopped), peas, roughly chopped asparagus and leeks. However, the actual vegetables used in this recipe can be easily varied depending on whats available to you or most in season. The Russian kale and asparagus can be substituted to whatever green spring vegetable you can find – whether that be swiss chard, tenderstem/purple-sprouting broccoli, pak choi or regular kale. Very finely shredded spring greens or cabbage could easily substitute the spinach. However make sure if using spring greens and cabbage to steam/boil these before adding to the pan. Spring greens have a stronger, “in-your-face” flavour, whilst cabbage will give the overall dish a milder and sweeter taste.

Obviously eggs are a main ingredient in this recipe so this is not vegan. However a good vegan alternative to eggs could be to swap them for artichokes. Peeled, quartered and chargrilled artichokes would makes an amazing addition to this recipe. As an alternative to the garlic and herb roule add tahini, a splash of lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced garlic and cumin to vegan yoghurt and spoon on top of the vegetables in swirls.

I paired this with thick crusty sourdough that I brushed with olive oil and chargrilled on a griddle pan. Seeing as half the country has turned into master bakers, this would work well served with most yeasty projects that you’ve got ongoing. Foccacia, ciabatta, soda and Turkish bread would all be acceptable choices. If there are more than 4 people in your house, have no fear. This recipe makes a big portion so can be easily stretched. Simply add 2 eggs for each person and serve with either extra toast or some slices of avocado.

Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 45mins

Ingredients:

  • 300g of Russian Kale (or alternative)- roughly chopped
  • 2 large leeks- thinly sliced
  • 100g of asparagus tips- chopped in half and sliced down the middle if very thick
  • 250g spinach very finely chopped
  • 200g peas- preferably garden peas (I used frozen- but fresh is also fine)
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic- minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tarragon
  • 1 handful of fresh mint leaves- roughly chopped
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 75g Garlic and Herb Roule
  • 1 red chilli- sliced
  • 20g Walnuts- crushed
  • Bread (to serve)
  • Lemon slices (to serve)

(Disclaimer: all herbs used are dried unless other wise stated. If you have access to fresh herbs that is even better! Here is a link to a super handy conversion guide for fresh vs dried herbs: https://www.janevaskitchen.com/blog/2019/herbs)

How-To:

  1. In the widest and deepest pan you own (that has a lid) add about a 1tbsp of olive oil along with the leeks and garlic and sautee on a low heat until the leeks have gone slightly translucent. If the leeks start to stick to the pan at all add a dash of water and continue moving them around.
  2. Add the Russian Kale and asparaghus and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the veggies have gone considerably greener. Again, if anything starts to stick to the pan add a dash of water.
  3. Add the dried herbs and give everything a good stir and cook slightly until they are very fragrant.
  4. Add the spinach and the peas and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat, with the lid on.
  5. Add the juice of half a lemon, a third of the chopped mint leaves and season with salt and cracked black pepper. Stir through
  6. Flatten out the vegetable base across the pan and make 8 wells. Crack and eggs into each of these wells. Cover the pan with the lid and leave for the eggs to cook on a low heat.
  7. While the eggs are cooking add two tablespoons of green pesto to a small bowl along with 1 tbsp of water and the juice of half a lemon. Mix together and combine to get a looser and more tart pesto.
  8. Once the eggs are almost cooked to preference (I like mine still a little runny), remove the lid and add small chunks of the garlic and herb roule all over the pan. Spoon the pesto mixture all over the pan. Add the sliced chilli, sprinkle over the walnuts and the last third of the mint.
  9. Serve with some toasted crusty bread and a slice of lemon.

If you give this recipe a try, make sure to let me know how it goes in the comments or show me the finished product by tagging @food__hoe or using #foodhoeblog on instagram.

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